Taking the first step to interlink the mighty Godavari and Krishna rivers, water from the Godavari was released into a newly built canal, and will eventually meet the river Krishna at Prakasam Barrage at Vijayawada on September 15 after flowing for 174 kms. After flowing for 124 kms, the Godavari water today reached the Krishna delta region where it was welcomed by thousands of farmers and villagers who offered flowers and prayers. “It is a historic moment. Godavari and Krishna rivers are interlinked now,’’ AP Irrigation Minister Devineni Umamaheshwara Rao said.
Since September 1, the AP Government started releasing 450 to 500 cusecs of Godavari water from Tatipudi Lift Irrigation Project in West Godavari district into the Polavaram Project’s Right Main Canal. The Polavaram canal was linked to the Tatipudi Project’s main irrigation canal through which the water was released. On September 15, the Godavari water, after flowing for 174 kms will reach Prakasam Barrage, the dam on river Krishna at Vijayawada.
“We started releasing the water on September 1. About 450 to 500 cusecs was released intermittently as and when surplus water was available after meeting the requirements of the Tatipudi’s ayacut. This water has today reached 124 kms in the Polavaram Canal and has crossed into Krishna delta in Nuzvid of Krishna district. By September 14 or 15, about 26,000 cusecs will flow into the Prakasam Barrage. This was a trial run to see how the newly built Polavaram canal works, speed of water flow etc,’’ Indira Sagar Polavaram Project Right Main Canal (ISRMC) Superintending Engineer Srinivas Yadav said Wednesday.
It is sort of a trial run also for the upcoming Pattiseema Lift Irriation Project which envisages linking Godavari with Krishna basin and using Godavari water in Krisha delta and divert Krishna basin water to drought-prone Rayalaseema region through a maze of pipelines and canals. The project is also expected to ease the pressure on Srisailam Dam to cater to Krishna delta region as Godavari water will be supplied while water from Srisailam Dam can be diverted to Rayalaseema.
“Polavaram Dam, from where water can be supplied to Krishna Basin, will take another 4-5 years to be ready. What we have done in the meanwhile is using Polavaram project’s canal we have diverted Godavari water from an existing dam into the Krishna basin. Every year about 3000 TMC of Godavari water flows away into the Bay of Bengal while there is hardly enough water in the Krishna. If we can harness even 200 to 300 TMC and divert it to Krishna basin then it can be pumped to Rayalaseema where all the reservoirs, tanks and lakes can be filled up. This interlinking through Pattiseema Project will help drought-proof the state and we won’t face water shortage even if rains are not good in a particular year,’’ Parkala Prabhakar, Advisor to AP CM, says.
On September 15, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu will formally announce the interlinking of Godavari and Krishna after the Godavari reaches the Prakasam Barrage at Vijayawada.