Suryapet: The long wait of 10,000-odd farmers in Suryapet’s Penpahad mandal for irrigation facility through the Sriram Sagar Project (SRSP) canal ended on Tuesday with the Godavari water reaching the area.
A rock on the alignment of DBM-71 of the SRSP main canal located near the GAIL pipeline was a major hurdle in providing irrigation facility to the mandal. Tunnel works had to be taken up, but were halted by the previous government because the rock played spoilsport here too. Also, there was a pipeline of HP and GAIL passing parallel to the tunnel at Meghya thanda in Penpahad.
With the initiative of Power Minister G Jagadish Reddy, the Irrigation officials got HPCL and GAIL’s permission to drill the rock without using blasting material. With this, a first of its kind in Telangana, the tunnel work was taken up using pipe jockeying methods and the task was completed six months ago. Now, the canal will fill village tanks and irrigate 17,000 acres in Penpahad.
On April 25, 2018, then Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao inspected the tunnel works and instructed officials to complete the task at the earliest to provide irrigation to the farmers. On Tuesday, Jagdish Reddy performed a pooja to the Godavari waters, which reached the tunnel of the SRSP canal at Meghya thanda. He said the State government fulfilled its promise to provide irrigation facility to the farmers by Diwali.
The canal works were on the backburner for 10 years due to the presence of the rock. When the Minister brought the issue to the notice of Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, the latter instructed officials to get the permission from GAIL to drill the rock, and released funds. Jagadish said though the left canal of Nagarjuna Sagar Project was passing through several villages, including Ramala, the farmers of the mandal were denied irrigation facilities. The earlier governments failed to fulfill their promises to provide irrigation to Penpahad through the SRSP canal. But, it was the Chief Minister who focused on providing irrigation to the mandal from the Kaleshwaram project through the SRSP canal. He assured that irrigation would be provided to every last acre in Penpahad. In addition to this, all village tanks, including the high-demand Ravirala Cheruvu, would be filled with the SRSP canal waters, he said.