Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government’s initiative to formally link the Godavari and Krishna rivers to facilitate drinking and irrigation purpose in Rayalaseema region will succeed on Wednesday. The state government has succeeded diverting 80 TMC water as part of its plan to conserve 3,000 TMC of Godavari water draining into the Bay of Bengal annually. The water which drawn from the Godavari through Polavaram Right Canal via Pattiseema Lift will flow into the Krishna near Ibrahimpatnam ferry close to Vijayawada during the day. State Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu along with his cabinet ministers and thousands of farmers from almost all 13 districts of the state will witness the moment from the spot. “This is a momentous occasion as the water from Godavari will not only stabilise the ayacut in delta but also save Krishna water from Srisailam so that it can be diverted to parched lands of Rayalaseema,” Devineni Umamaheswar Rao, the state irrigation minister said, adding that the project saw a two-week delay. The government conceived the project in March this year and set August 15 as the deadline. The Telugu Desam Party government in the

state executed the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme worth Rs 1,300 crore on a war footing despite the opposition by the YSR Congress which alleged a Rs 200-crore scam in the project. Addressing a teleconference on Tuesday, the CM lauded the project, saying: “Andhra Pradesh is making the nation’s dream true by integrating two major rivers.” The real task was to use the existing irrigation system to bring the Godavari water to Rayalaseema which are separated by 500 kilometres. The water has travelled 160 kilometres from Pattiseema to flow into the Krishna at Vijayawada. A 54-kilometre linking canal was built between the Godavari and the Polavaram Right Canal at a breakneck speed. “The project provides irrigation water to 7 lakh acres and serves as a water source to nearly three other irrigation schemes in Rayalaseema which were not given assured water sources after the state bifurcation,” Naidu said. Hailing it as South India’s first river integration project, the CM said the project has resolved the tension between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in drawing water from Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar dams for irrigation in the Krishna delta.
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