Jagan begins ''padayatra'' for Polavaram irrigation project

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Hyderabad, Feb 7 (PTI) Former Congress MP Y S Jagan MohanReddy today launched a ''padayatra'' from Ravulapalem in EastGodavari district demanding that the multi-purpose Polavaramirrigation project be taken up immediately.

Highlighting the need for taking up the project, he saidit would benefit not only the coastal districts but alsoTelangana and Rayalaseema as well.

The project was first mooted in 1940s with Bharat Ratna BR Ambedkar agreeing on the need to take it up but it stillremained a dream, he said.

It was only late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy who made sincereefforts to start the project, he added.

If the Centre does not give the funds for the project,why cannot the state government take it up on its own, theformer MP asked.

Congress MP M Rajamohan Reddy, MLA P Subhash ChandraBose, who are loyal to him, are among those who participatedin the inaugural public meeting addressed by Jagan atRavulapalem.

The state government has been making efforts to getnational project status for the project which is proposed tobe built at Polavaram town in West Godavari district.

All political parties, including Telugu Desam,Chiranjeevi'' s Praja Rajyam, have been agitating on gettingnational status for the Polavaram project.

The Polavaram project was conceived as a multipurposescheme providing irrigation to 4.36 lakh hectares, watersupply to towns and villages en route, and generating hydelpower with an installed capacity of 960 MW. The projectenvisaged construction of an earth-cum-rockfill dam. (More)PTI SJR VKV

During his four-day ''Harita Yatra'' (green march), Jagan would walk in East Godavari and West Godavari districts andthe journey would end at Polavaram on February 10, sourcessaid.

Jagan earlier undertook protests to highlight the plightof farmers in the wake of heavy rains and on the allegedadverse impact of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal''s awardon state farmers.

The latter was held in Delhi with about 30 MLAs attendingit.

He claimed on the occasion that he is doing a favour tothe Congress by asking MLAs loyal to him not to quit theirposts.

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