Veligonda Project Phase-I to be ready by this July
Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday reviewed the progress of Poola Subbaiah Veligonda Project.
Speaking on the occasion, the Chief Minister directed the officials to supply water to the ayacut by completing the Phase-I of the project by August. The contractors informed that work on the first tunnel would be completed by June-July by digging 200 metres per month and the work on the installation of the head regulator in three or four months.
With reference to the second tunnel, the Chief Minister directed the officials to take up excavation work from both sides so as to complete it as soon as possible. The officials informed that acquisition of land for the Phase-I of the project would be completed before March 31.
When the officials informed that only an extent of 600 metres could be excavated for the first tunnel between 2014 and 2019, the Chief Minister reminded that after he formed the government, 15.8 km to 17.2 km could be excavated during the past eight months. The officials informed that an extent of only 410 metres could be excavated for the second tunnel during the past five years.
The Chief Minister agreed to the proposal for increasing the Relief and Rehabilitation package to the evacuees.
Minister Adimulapu Suresh said an additional ayacut of 11,500 acres could be irrigated by digging an additional canal in the T-5 block of Pullalacheruvu mandal which would cost Rs 70 crores. He said the canal would help irrigate the lands of SC, ST communities to which the Chief Minister responded positively. He also responded positively to the request by MLA Mahidhar Reddy to divert water to Rallapadu reservoir from Velignda Eastern canal.
Ministers Anil Kumar Yadav, Balineni Srinivasa Reddy, Pinepi Viswaroop, MP Magunta Srinivasa Reddy and MLAs Sudhakarbabu, Maheedhar Reddy, Nagarjuna, Anna Rambabu and Venugopal were among those present.
The project has been designed to draw 43.50 tmcft of flood waters from the Krishna by gravity to irrigate 4.47 lakh acres in Prakasam, Kadapa, and Nellore districts, and provide drinking water to 15.25 lakh people in the fluoride-affected parts. It suffered time and cost overruns in the past because of the enormity of tunnel boring works taken up with the machines procured from Germany and the U.S.
The Nallamala Sagar reservoir has already been completed by closing the hill gaps at Sunkesula, Gottipadia and Kakarla to impound Krishna water once the herculean task of drilling tunnels is completed.