YSR Congress President Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy has urged the peasants to get prepared for a protracted struggle to press for completion of the Rs. 5,150-crore Pulla Subbaiah Veligonda and other pending projects.
Before resuming his bus yatra to sites of irrigation project from here on Friday, the Leader of Opposition in the State Assembly said ”let us join hands for relentless struggle to put pressure on the Government to complete all pending projects”
The amount earmarked for the Pattiseema project was enough to complete the long-pending Veligonda Project, he added.
If the State Government went ahead with the Pattiseema Project, the state would lose 35 tmc of Krishna water each to upper riparian states of Karnataka and Maharastra as per the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal award, maintained Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy. He was accompanied by, among others, YSRC Parliamentary party leader Mekapatti Rajmohan Reddy and party Whip in Paliament Y.V. Subba Reddy during the ”Project Bata”.
”If the Government is sincere in ensuring water for ryots in drought-prone Prakasam and Rayalaseema, it should implement on a war footing Polavaram, Veligonda, Handri Neeva and other pending projects first,” said Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy who went deep inside the first tunnel to inspect the ongoing works.
Pouring out their woes to the scion of YSR, a group of farmers complained that at a time when the district was reeling under unprecedented drought in 54 of the 56 mandals, the work on the first tunnel was progressing at a snail’s pace while the second tunnel work had come to a standstill.
”We do not know how many years it will take to complete the project to bring water to fluoride-affected areas in Prakasam District”, said worried farmers upset with a meagre budgetary allocation of Rs. 150 crore this year for this project which had suffered time and cost overruns, needing at least Rs. 1,500 crore to expedite the works.
The successive governments had spent about Rs. 3,500 crore on Veligonda Project designed to bring in 53 tmcft of Krishna water from the foreshore of Srisailam Project for 45 days per annum to ensure irrigation water for 4.5 lakh acres in districts of Prakasam, Kadapa and Nellore and drinking water supply to 15.25 lakh people in the fluoride-affected areas.