The State government is committed to complete first phase of Polavaram Multi-purpose Project by 2018, said Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu here on Saturday. Speaking to media persons along with Minister for Water Resources Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, the Chief Minister said the State government had already taken up the project though the Central government had declared it as a national project.
He claimed that the Central government would reimburse the expenditure and had already paid Rs 300 crore to the State government last year and would pay the balance in the coming months. He further said that the State government had also evacuated four villages out of seven to facilitate the speedy execution of the project works.
The remaining three villages would also be evacuated shortly, he said and asserted that the contractor was instructed to engage more machines to speed up the works. He further said that the State government had given highest priority to water resources and make the State drought-free. The government had introduced Neeru-Chettu programme to fill 479 tmcft of water deficit in the State.
Stating that the State required 2,750 tmcft of water, the Chief Minister pointed out that only 2,271 tmcft of water was available. The deficit would be filled and the State would be made water surplus in the next two years, he said and asserted that it was possible through inter-linking of rivers, conservation of rain water, increasing the storage capacity of the tanks by silt removal and raising the groundwater levels. He said that the State has over 37 rivers and rivulets, which would be inter-linked.
In the last two years, due to the efforts of the government, 97 mandals in the State have become water surplus while efforts were on to make 665 mandals water surplus by 2018. The government had already taken up the formation of farm ponds and use of rain guns to save crops in the State and also provide water for Rayalaseema. The government had planned 100 farm ponds for every district, he said and asserted that these ponds would stand as water sources.
Taking a dig at Opposition for accusing him and his family members of indulging in corruption, the Chief Minister said that his family was ready for any probe. He said that his government had spent Rs 11,300 crore on irrigation projects during the last two years and would require Rs 15,000 crore to Rs 20,000 crore to complete all irrigation projects in the State.