Restore minor irrigation tanks: AP CM

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Hyderabad, Jan 30 (UNI) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy today urged the minor irrigation department to make use of the detailed study report on minor irrigation tanks in the State and initiate steps to restore these tanks.

The study, conducted by the National Institute of Rural Development for the Irrigation and CAD Department of the State Government, reported that if all the 64,000 minor irrigation tanks (below 100 acres of ayacut size) were restored and put to use, 65 to 70 lakh acres could be brought under irrigation additionally.

Releasing the report, Dr Reddy said the results of the status survey would be useful to stabilise the existing direct and indirect ayacut in a phased manner.

The study stated that among the irrigation tanks, about 60 per cent had ayacut below 10 hectares, 22 per cent were in the range of 10-20 hectares and the balance was above 20 hectares.

The Chief Minister announced to substantially increase the Budget for minor irrigation, by almost 100 per cent from Rs 480 crore in 2007-08 to Rs 880 crore in 2008-09. He sanctioned additional posts of CE, Superintending Engineers and other supporting staff for the APSIDC to complete a large number of projects undertaken by it.

About 12,000 tanks would be taken up at an estimated cost of Rs 1,000 crore under Indiramma Cheruvu Phase-III (2009-10).

Restoration of 2,058 small tanks to stabilize an ayacut of 1,10,500 acres, costing Rs 110 crore, were proposed under Normal Plan funds of I and CAD Dept.

The Chief Minister also reviewed the status of 25 minor irrigation works and 14 APSIDC works, worth Rs 158.89 crore and Rs 205.85 crore, respectively for which administrative sanctions were accorded.

He told the department to complete these projects on a priority basis. Under the Andhra Pradesh Community based tank management project, rehabilitation of about 3,000 minor irrigation tanks had been taken up for restoration of about 6.25 lakh acres. During 2007-08, 303 detailed estimates worth Rs 60 crore were completed and 200 tanks worth Rs 40 crore would be ready by March, 2008.

The draft for creation of a separate minor irrigation department was ready and would be sent for Cabinet approval.

UNI VA GKT 1919

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