Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Sep 01, 2005
Agri-Biz & Commodities
AP CM seeks early clearance for Rs 3,000-crore water project
THE Andhra Pradesh Government has sought early clearance for some of the irrigation projects along with the Planning Commission approval for a Rs 3,000-crore water sector improvement project.
The Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajashekhara Reddy, on Wednesday called on the Union Water Resources Minister, Mr Priyaranjan Dasmunshi, in New Delhi, to seek his help in expediting clearance by both the Planning Commission and the Department of Economic affairs and to pave the way to take up the Rs 3,000-crore project with World Bank assistance.
The project seeks to modernise the Nagarjunasagar canal systems among various other improvements for the irrigation system. Mr Dasmunshi has written a letter to the Planning Commission clarifying that this was not a new project and does not have any bearing on the new Krishna water tribunal.
The Chief Minister also took up the issue of four pending projects awaiting Central Water Commission clearance. These include Sriramsagar flood flow canal, Sriramsagar stage II, Dummugudem lift irrigation and Sripada Sagar.
A meeting of State officials and the CWC is likely to be held next week to discuss issues relating to the projects.
Earlier, addressing the National Integration Council, Dr Reddy said that the State had initiated several projects for weaker sections and minorities to bring in all round development.
One of the projects seeks to address poverty directly through distribution of cultivable land to the poorest of the poor. Thus far 2.5 lakh acres have been distributed in two phases.
Given the backdrop of problems faced by the farming community leading to debt trap, thousands of farmers had committed suicide.
A package has been unveiled to mitigate their immediate distress and to provide lasting solutions.
The immediate relief measure is provision of free power supply to poor farmers who constitute 95 per cent of pump-set holders at an expenditure of Rs 1,200 crore.
On the Rs 45,000-crore Jal Yagna, Dr Reddy said this initiative seeks to bring 65 lakh acres under irrigation and stabilise irrigation in 25 lakh acres in the next four to five years. The Government has initiated steps to link up the Godavari and the Krishna by undertaking Indira Sagar and Rajiv Sagar projects.
The sharing of river waters will promote harmony and integration among people of different States and ensure that precious water is not wasted.
"These new projects will ensure that millions of cubic feet of water now going waste into the sea will irrigate the perennially parched lands and bring cheer to the farming community," he said.
The Government plans to contribute Rs 2,200-crore this year to help women take up gainful activities and stand on their feet.
Referring to the ban on the extremist outfits, he said a concerted effort should be made by all States affected by extremism to stamp out the evil.
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