The Lok Satta Party today requested Chief Minister K. Rosaiah to scrap the Godavari drinking water project and take up Krishna Phase III scheme to meet the drinking water needs of Hyderabad city.
It also asked him to take up on an emergency basis a project to prevent loss of life and property in the Krishna basin, in the wake of the unprecedented floods the river witnessed in October 2009.
A Lok Satta Party delegation, led by its President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan, called on the Chief Minister at the Secretariat and explained that tapping the Godavari at Yellampalli for Hyderabad’s drinking water needs is risky, costly, and time consuming. In contrast, the Krishna Phase III scheme has a dependable water source in Nagarjunasagar, can be executed fast, and costs only a fraction of the Godavari’s scheme.
The delegation drew the Chief Minister’s attention to the precarious drinking water supply position in Greater Hyderabad city and surrounding areas. While the current demand for drinking water in GHMC area is 300 mgd, the present water supply capacity is 330 mgd. Of the 330 mgd maximum water available, 180 mgd comes from Krishna river, thanks to the execution of Krishna Phase I and Phase II schemes.
The delegation wanted the Chief Minister to take up Phase III of the Krishna water scheme. Costing about Rs. 600 crore, it will augment the water supply by about 90 mgd (5.5 TMC). It can be completed within 12-15 months. Even if 135 mgd is drawn, the cost will be about Rs. 900 crore, or about 25% of the Godavari scheme.
The Godavari drinking water supply project taken up in 2007-08 proposes to draw 8 TMC (135 mgd) of water from two km upstream of the Yellampalli barrage. Costing Rs. 3375 crore, the project involves 196 km of pipeline, and four- stage pumping and one stage gravity and lift involving 506 meters. The Godavari project will take at least 5 to 8 years and perhaps longer because of delays in Yellampalli barrage construction. So far, even the land has not been acquired for the barrage and pipeline. For Krishna, a large reservoir of 400 TMC capacity exists at Nagarjunasagar, and pipelines have already been laid in two phases.
The delegation pointed out that Yellampally cannot be depended upon for drinking water. Yellampally is downstream of Sriramsagar project, and upstream of the confluence of the Pranahita with the Godavari. The yield below Sriramsagar, up to Yellamaplly is estimated to be only about 23 TMC with 75% dependability. On the basis of 95% dependability, the yield at Yellampally is only 8.75 TMC in good years. At 100% dependability, the yield at Yellampally is practically nil. In case of Nagarjunasagar, the dead storage of the reservoir itself is about 90 TMC, and there is assured availability of water round the year even in lean years.
The Lok Satta leaders suggested that the yield of Yellampally barrage be utilized for irrigation in the neighboring areas with small lifts.
Dr. JP drew the Chief Minister’s attention to the Union Government’s offer to provide Central assistance for strengthening the Krishna river bunds and requested him to send a detailed project report for assistance. The Union Government had made the offer in response to Dr. JP’s representation to the Prime Minister.
Dr. JP said that the Krishna witnessed a flood of 25 lakh cusecs in October 2009 whereas the bunds were designed for a flood of only 10-11 lakh cusecs. As there was significant additional storage capacity in Nagarjunasagar reservoir then, much of flood flow could be accommodated in the reservoir. Yet, the Krishna breached its right bund in the Repalle- Bhattiprolu area in October 2009.
Strengthening the flood management capability, in Krishna River and its tributaries, including bund-strengthening and structural improvements to facilitate a maximum flood discharge of 25 lakhs cusecs is vital to ensure the safety of about one crore people of Kurnool, Mahabubnagar, Guntur, and Krishna districts.
The delegation included Party leaders DVVS Varma, Katari Srinivasa Rao, Y.D. Ramarao, V. Vijayender Reddy, G. Raja Reddy, Bhisetty Babji, and V. Laxman Balaji, P.Ravimaruth, Mrs.N.Saroja Devi, Mrs.D.Lakshmi.