Lendi Project still remains incomplete after 30 years

Lendi Project still remains incomplete after 30 years
Highlights

The works pertaining to the Lendi Inter-State Project have been going on for last 30 years between the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and the people of the area have been eagerly waiting for a long time to complete the project. However, their hopes may not be fulfilled as the project construction costs have escalated in recent times. 

Nizamabad: The works pertaining to the Lendi Inter-State Project have been going on for last 30 years between the states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh and the people of the area have been eagerly waiting for a long time to complete the project. However, their hopes may not be fulfilled as the project construction costs have escalated in recent times.

Now, after the formation of separate Telangana State, the people of both the States were hoping that project be completed as soon as possible so that water could be provided to 49,000 acres in both states.

Lendi is an inter-state project between the states of Telangana (then Andhra Pradesh) and Maharashtra. The project was designed 30 years ago in 1986 on River Lendi, a tributary of River Manjeera and proposed to construct project at Gonegaon village of Mudkhed Taluka, in Nanded district of Maharashtra, with the capacity of 6.36 TMC of water.

In this, Maharashtra utilises 3.93 of TMC and gives water to irrigate 27,000 acres. The Telangana State utilises 2.43 TMC water giving water for irrigation purposes to 22,000 acres in Madnoor and Bichkunda mandals. Apart from irrigation Lendi provides drinking water to various villages across Nanded and Nizamabad districts.

According to the proposed plan, the Lendi Project would be constructed at Gonegaon village in the State of Maharashtra to supply water through its main canal up to 20.46 km and then, it would be divided into right and left canals, The right canal will supply water to Telangana and the left canal supplies water to Maharashtra.

Although the project started in 1986, it still remains incomplete, mainly due to the delay in land acquisition and rehabilitation and resettlement of the evacuees. In 2003, the then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajashekhara Reddy took the initiative to speed up the works, while the Maharashtra government neglected the land acquisition works and owing to this delay, the project cost skyrocketed to Rs 275.84 crore in 2003.

The YSR Government sanctioned Rs 43.14 crore to the Landi project in 2003 to construct canals in Andhra Pradesh and also released Rs 20 crore for mobilisation of advance payments to the contractors. As a result, the contractors constructed canals up to a stretch of 25 km in Bichkunda and Mandnoor mandals. Due to lack of quality works in many areas, canals were damaged.

In many areas, the government has not paid compensation to the farmers after acquiring their lands. People belonging to three villages were refusing to take the compensation, which is much lower than the prevailing market value. Till now, the officials of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh (Telangana) met nearly ten times to speed up project works but to no avail.

The construction costs of the project rose up by ten times than the estimated cost and it shot up to Rs 554.55 crore, In this, the share of Maharashtra is Rs 318.45 crore and in Telangana, the cost rose to Rs 266.10 crore and the TS government paid 189.73 crore. Speaking to The Hans India here on Friday, Atma Ram, the in-charge executive engineer, of the Lendi Project said that after the formation of Telangana state, State Major Irrigation Minister Harish Rao met Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and the Maharashtra Irrigation Minister a few times, but Maharashtra Government has not paid compensation to the local farmers who were displaced.

Nagnath Rao, a local farmer said that they were eagerly awaiting the completion of project, but the Maharashtra government was creating hurdles. He urged the Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao to take steps and complete the project to fulfill the dreams of the people of Madnoor and Bichkunda.

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