Thirsty Sagar 3rd zone waits for drinking water
by D. Gopi, originally posted on April 13, 2016
Vijayawada: The third zone area under the Nagarjunasagar reservoir cries for water. The area which falls under the western parts of Krishna district is staring at the government for release of water to fill over 260 irrigation tanks besides providing irrigation water for 2.20 lakh acres.
While the Telangana government is filling the tanks in the neighbouring Madhira and Wyra areas of Khammam district with the Nagarjunasagar water, the tanks in Krishna district under the Left Canal still look for release of water.
The third zone, which is due to get 32.25 tmcft of water out of the total 132 tmcft allocated for the Left Canal, had never received its share. The irrigation and drinking water tanks in the catchment area of the third zone have never seen the water flowing to the capacity of the canal and the branch canals.
The third zone covers Tiruvur, Vissannapet, A Konduru, G Konduru, Mylavaram, Ibrahimpatnam, Kanchikacharla, Veerullapadu, Reddigudem, Nuzvid, Chatrai, Musunuru, Agiripalli, Bapulapaudu, Gannavaram and Vijayawada rural mandals through the Nuzvid and Mylavaram branch canals.
The farmers and the leaders cry foul every season as the water is not released to the zone beyond Wyra, which is also connected to the Palair reservoir. The western Krishna mandals, which mostly depend on the rain water, heave a sigh of relief whenever water is released into the Mylavaram and Nuzvid branch canals. However, Vissannapet, Chatrai, Nuzvid, Musunuru and Bapulapadu mandals hardly received Nagarjunasagar water.
Former Tiruvur legislator Nallagatla Swamidas fought for the Nagarjunasagar water to the third zone all through his two terms between 1994 and 2004 but could hardly get water to the parts of Tiruvur and Mylavaram areas, while Nuzvid remained uncovered.
Way back in 1994, when Devineni Rajasekhar (Nehru) was the Minister in the NTR Cabinet, he held a couple of meetings in Jaggaiahpet with the irrigation officials, and ensured release of water to the third zone. Even then Vissannapet, Chatrai, Nuzvid and Bapulapadu mandals faced water crisis.
“We have not seen Nagarjunasagar water reaching Nuzvid in the last 30 years. The farmers in the upstream of Palair never allowed water to flow down. The officials from AP never took care to ensure the water flowing down to the tail-end,” said Nuzvid legislator Meka Pratap Apparao.
“As the tanks have dried up, there is no water even for the cattle while the villagers struggle with the groundwater levels going down. If the government fails to take steps and provide water this season, people would not even have access to safe drinking water,” he feared.
“We are getting water this time. We could make the officials release 2,600 cusecs of water from Palair reservoir to the downstream. Palair is getting 5,200 cusecs from Sagar and they are discharging 2,600 cusecs which would be shared between the Mylavaram and Nuzvid branch canals,” asserted Minister for Water Resources Devineni Umamaheswara Rao.
“We could get 600 cusecs entering the third zone today and we are holding talks with the TS government for our due share as they have filled their tanks in the two zones,” the Minister said and expressed confidence that they could fill some tanks for the season and meet the summer water requirement.