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AP Govt committed to Pulichintala project

Our Bureau

GUNTUR, July 11

THE Andhra Pradesh Government is committed to executing the Pulichintala balancing reservoir project on the Krishna to ensure timely release of water to 13 lakh acres in the Krishna delta and, even though some problems have cropped up of late, the Government will not give up on the project, Mr V. Sobhanadreeswara Rao, the State Agriculture Minister, has said.

He was speaking at a seminar on agricultural engineering organised by the Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers, Andhra Pradesh chapter, and the Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University at the Bapatla Agricultural College in Guntur district on Thursday.

He said the Telugu Desam Government had obtained the techno-economic clearance for the Pulichintala project from the Centre and there were no inter-State, or intra-State, disputes relating to the project. The project envisaged storing 40 cusecs of water going waste into the sea during summer months and no extra command area would be created because of it. "The existing command area — 13 lakh acres in the Krishna delta — would be served better and water can be released by June 10,'' he said and added that such a balancing reservoir had become absolutely essential in view of the many projects constructed by Karnataka and Maharashtra in the upper reaches of Krishna. However, certain misguided elements were creating problems for the project, he said.

The Minister emphasised the importance of agricultural engineering to achieve the next quantum jump in agricultural yields and observed that even in the Indian context of labour-intensive agriculture, it would be possible to mechanise farming judiciously.

Dr I.V. Subba Rao, Vice-Chancellor of the Acharya NG Ranga Agricultural University, said agricultural engineering had emerged as a separate discipline and greater employment opportunities should be provided to the students of the discipline.

Dr Anwar Alam, Deputy Director-General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research, said there were 28 institutions in the country offering undergraduate and postgraduate courses in farm engineering and the Bapatla College was one of the most prestigious colleges. He said farm engineering was indispensable to modernise agriculture and make it economically competitive.

Dr C.R. Sukumaran, Chairman of the Andhra Pradesh chapter of the Indian Society of Agricultural Engineers, said the country had emerged as the number one producer of farm tractors in the world, with a production of 2,56,690 tractors and Uttar Pradesh topped in the sale of tractors with 68,354 units and Andhra Pradesh ranked sixth with a sale of 17,958 units during 2000-2001.

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