Visakhapatnam: Irrigation experts and locals are of the opinion that bifurcating the state without resolving water disputes with Odisha will spell doom for the irrigation sector in the three districts of north Andhra.
According to them, successive governments have failed to settle the disputes since decades, and division of the state without resolving these issues will only aggravate the problems of north Andhra, which is already lagging behind in development in all sectors.
There are only two rivers with surplus waters, Nagavali and Vamsadhara, while 14 other rivers have deficit yields. All these rivers originate in Odisha and flow into north Andhra region but North Andhra has been unable to utilize the waters of Vamsadhara and Nagavali, because of very minute problems with Odissha which remain unresolved since Independence.
Odisha government proposes to build a dam on Vamsadhara at Phanidongara, to link Nagavali and Rushikulya rivers, increase the height of dam on river Bahuda at Bagalutti and construct a new project on Mahendratanaya river, which will reduce north Andhra to a desert.
“When the state government failed to resolve the disputes despite good strength of MPs how can we expect them to be resolved with a few MPs after the division?” asked Uttarandhra Rakshana Vedika (URV), president, S.S. Shivasankar.
The only solution to the water problem of the region is construction of Uttarandhra Sujala Sravanthi and Polavaram project. The Polavaram left canal will cater to the needs of Visakhapatnam district farmers. About 1.43lakh acres ayacut will be irrigated and Vizag city drinking water problem will be solved with Polavaram. With the Uttarandhra Sujala Sravathi, around 8lakh acres of ayacut in the three districts will be irrigated.
Retired chief engineer (Irrigation), S. Satyanarayana of Uttarandhra Rakshana Vedika said that neglect of irrigation projects has resulted in migrations. The URV representatives said that north Andhra has been neglected ever since the formation of Odisha in 1936.
VPT to be closed today
Visakhapatnam: Protesting against the UPA’s decision to bifurcate the state, TD rural unit president and V. Madugula MLA, G. Ramanaidu and former city corporator, Gudivada Amarnath launched an indefinite hunger strike at the Mahatma Gandhi statue near the GVMC office.
Members of Samaikyandhra Hindu-Muslim Forum burnt UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and TRS chief K. Chandrasekhar Rao in effigies. However, strike by the private transport operators will put the public to more inconveniene.
Meanwhile, for the first time in the history of the 80-year-old Vizag Port, all port users, facilitators will observe total strike on Monday.