Minister for Agriculture S. Niranjan Reddy has accused the Opposition parties of carrying out a venomous campaign against the Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PRLIS) by hiding facts on the change of source for water withdrawal for the project from Jurala, as planned earlier, to Srisailam.
Justifying the decision to shift the source of water withdrawal from Jurala to Srisailam the Minister said Bhima, Nettempadu and Koilsagar projects as also the ayacut of Jurala itself, a total of 5.5 lakh acres, was depending on water drawn from Jurala having the live storage capacity of only 6 tmcft. On the other hand, the storage capacity of Srisailam was 216 tmcft and that was the reason why the take-off point of PRLIS was shifted.
After the source of withdrawal the Opposition parties started filing petitions that there would be environmental damage with PRLIS stating that project works would pass through forest areas, filed complaints with the National Green Tribunal, provoked farmers to oppose the project and even went to the extent of filing cases in the name of farmers without their knowledge and consent, he alleged.
After overcoming all hurdles and launching the first pump, the Opposition parties were asking as to how the project would be operational with just one pump, the Minister said adding that irrigation projects would always become operational in phases and not in one go anywhere.
He explained that there was requirement of 85,000 acres of land acquisition in 32 villages as per the PRLIS with Jurala as source. However, the redesigned PRLIS with Srisailam as withdrawal point involved land acquisition of only 27,000 acres with displacement of only 3 major villages and 8 thandas, resulting in higher utility with lesser submergence.
Stating that it was in the Tungabhadra sub-basin that the availability of water was higher in the lower Krishna basin, Mr. Niranjan Reddy said the PRLIS works would gain momentum following the overcoming of some hurdles in the MoEF and KWDT-II recently, and Adviser to Government on LI schemes K. Penta Reddy, having the experience of installing over 250 pumps, was leading the execution of pump houses.
He reminded the Opposition parties that even the Kalwakurthy lift irrigation scheme (MGKLIS) was launched with the commissioning of only one pump initially by the then Chief Minister K. Kiran Kumar Reddy and the remaining four pumps of the projects were commissioned after the formation of Telangana State.
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