A prestigious project now lies unattended…

A prestigious project now lies unattended…
Highlights

Taliperu, the biggest medium irrigation project in the unified State of Andhra Pradesh considered a boon for farmers of the agency areas now lies in Charla mandal of Kothagudem district.

Kothagudem: Taliperu, the biggest medium irrigation project in the unified State of Andhra Pradesh considered a boon for farmers of the agency areas now lies in Charla mandal of Kothagudem district. Although taken up two decades ago, the wrong estimates of the officials and ill-conceived development works failed in providing irrigation facilities to the tail-end farmers in Dummugudem mandal.

The officials, who were aware of the receipt of huge funds for the development of the project from the Japanese Jaika organisation, allegedly failed to carry out proper exercise at the ground level. As a result, the estimated cost of over Rs 44 crore has more than doubled to Rs 90.75 crore. Yet the project cannot provide irrigation facilities to the tail-end areas. The facilities would be available for the Kharif season and not Rabi. Besides, the project could not be taken forward as planned allegedly because of the indifferent attitude of officials.

That the estimates were faulty can be gauged from the fact that the department’s own engineers concede that Rs 44 crore was inadequate. Because of official indifference, the cost of material rose steeply and delayed execution of the project works, and the cost has now been estimated to over Rs 90.75 crore. Plans are on to complete the work by June this year.

The negligence of officials in the execution of the project work is evident from the fact that a crane purchased at a cost of Rs 1 crore to lift the gates has not been used even once. It was bought a decade back and discarded allegedly due to officials citing lack of technical staff as an excuse. Also one of the two generators of the project intended to be used in an emergency situation is not working, as admitted by officials. Such problems can be solved only if Rs 8 lakh per year is sanctioned as maintenance expenditure. Otherwise, the same uncertain situation is likely to continue, officials concerned told The Hans India.

Another instance of the official negligence is the piled up silt in the project area. Not even one attempt has been made to take up de-silting work, severely affecting the storage capacity. Also, allegedly because of the official negligence, the power dues had piled up to Rs 1.1 crore. Last year, an amount of Rs 72 lakh was paid. Yet Rs 54 lakh dues are pending, according to official sources.

However, Executive Engineer PVA Prasad told THI that water would be provided to both Kharif (24,000 acres) and Rabi (8,000 acres in zone II) seasons. He admitted that the project estimate of Rs 44 crore, when the work was taken up in 2010, had risen to Rs 90.75 crore now. Prasad said 25 additional gates were being added to the project. He expressed confidence of completing the project by June 31. The EE admitted that the crane had not been used.

A farmer, S Srinivas Raju, of Charla mandal, told THI that there had been a delay in the work schedule because of the negligent attitude of the contractors. He expressed anguish over the work being done at a slow pace resulting in pendency till date, though the works started in 2010. Raju said that the project should have been completed two years ago. He attributed the delay to construction defects in small canals, because of which their side walls got washed away, although the main canal was good.

By PV Satyanarayana

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