Minister asks revenue and police officials to prevent water theft in Anantapur Irrigation Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao has said that all water currently being made available from the Tunga Bhadra Dam into the Tunga Bhadra Project High Level Canal (TBPHLC) system shall be used for drinking water purposes only. Speaking at the Irrigation Advisory Board (IAB) meeting at the Revenue Bhavan in the Anantapur Collectorate premises on Wednesday, he said that the TBPHLC system would receive 9.5 tmc ft of water as per the decision of the Tunga Bhadra Board on Tuesday, given that the storage in theTunga Bhadra dam was only 75-80 tmc ft.
Anantapur is being given the current quantum as against a sanctioned quantum of over 30 tmc ft envisaged during the construction of the project. However, on account of the siltation of the reservoir the quantum kept reducing over the years while truant rains have meant further reductions to today’s quantum. “While 2.64 lakh acres is registered as ayacut under the Tunga Bhadra project, in view of the necessity to cater to drinking water needs first, no water shall be made available for irrigation,” Mr Rao observed. However, he said that water might be made available for one or two settings later in kharif if water levels at Tunga Bhadra dam or Srisailam improve.
‘Installation of pumps’
He also said that pumps were being installed at Muchumarri to lift water into the Handri Neeva Sujata Sravanti (HNSS) system so that more water could be drawn from Srisailam when water was available at a lower level in the Srisailam project. Meanwhile, Rural Water Supply (RWS) officials were directed by Mr. Rao to stick by their plan to ensure adequate supply of drinking water across the district even as he asked the revenue and police officials to work in tandem to prevent water theft within the district.
Anantapur MP J.C. Diwakar Reddy urged the authorities to give water to the left branch canal and more so critically to the Tadipatri constituency. “Give only their (people of Tadipatri constituency) rightful quota. Prevent anybody from growing paddy in the district in view of the dire conditions,” he said. Almost all legislators and MLCs present at the meeting demanded water to their respective constituencies. Responding to the demands, Mr. Umamaheswara Rao said that water would be equally distributed to all the regions of the district.