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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Andhra Pradesh: Thotapalli project, built across the Nagavali, marred by lack of a strong canal network – Mrit News

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Irrigation water not reaching many mandals in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts, rue farmers

Irrigation water not reaching many mandals in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts, rue farmers

Agricultural fields in Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts are facing hurdles in irrigation due to a poor distributory network of canals from the Thotapalli barrage and a lack of proper feeder channels for tanks.

While the Thotapalli irrigation project, built across the Nagavali, began functioning from 2015, a robust distributory network could not be put in place to ensure that water reaches the fields through canals.

An inordinate delay in land acquisition is being blamed for the improper distributory network in both districts. Farmers who have to part with their land for the canal network have reportedly sought compensation of ₹25 lakh per acre. The State government, meanwhile, is reportedly reluctant to pay such large sums of money for acquiring the land.

Farmers say that up to 1.24 lakh acres of farm land can be irrigated in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts if water from the Thotapalli project is utilised properly by building a well-connected network of canals.

Farmers of ten mandals in Vizianagaram and seven mandals of Srikakulam district would stand to benefit if the canal network is built. Lack of feeder channels for smooth flow of water from one canal to another has also become another hurdle, they say.

Former Cheepurupalle MLA and BJP Uttarandhra Abhivruddhi Committee chairman Gadde Babu Rao alleged that the government was neglecting the irrigation systems in Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts although many mandals were under rain-fed areas.

“The ponds would have adequate water only when feeder channels are created properly. Natural flow of water into those ponds would be ensured only when channels are there. The government should focus on the issue ahead of Kharif season,” Mr. Babu Rao told The Hindu

When contacted, Vizianagaram Collector A. Suryakumari said that she had directed the authorities concerned to ensure proper feeder channels for all 5,800 tanks in the district. She said that she would visit major ponds to ascertain the ground-level situation.

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