The Vice-President M. Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday held a meeting with the CEO of NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Drinking Water and Sanitation Parameswaran Iyer, and Secretary, Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation U.P. Singh and discussed possible ways to meet the drinking water and irrigation needs of the drought-prone Udayagiri in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh.
Expressing concern over people’s problems in Udayagiri from where Mr. Naidu was elected as MLA in 1978 for the first time, he said he was informed by the locals that the ground water levels had depleted considerably and most of the tanks, bore wells had dried up and that the existing water supply schemes were not sufficient to cater to the needs of the people. This was the seventh consecutive year that the area had witnessed deficit rains.
People of Udayagiri have asked the Vice-President to explore ways to bring water to their areas from the Krishna basin or the Somasila project.
In response to the Vice-President’s suggestion, the officials assured him that they would discuss the matter with the Andhra Pradesh government to zero in on the most feasible option.
Mr. Naidu wanted Mr. Iyer to discuss the technical feasibility of the project with the Central Water Commission and chalk out a Detailed Project Report (DPR), besides studying the AP Government’s efforts to mitigate the water crisis.
He said after a preliminary assessment, a delegation of senior officials from the Ministry of Jal Shakti, NITI Aayog and Central Water Commission could visit the area and talk to the stakeholders to understand the ground reality and suggest a way forward.
Mr. Naidu also spoke to the Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and shared with him the feedback he had received from many of his acquaintances in Udayagiri about the acute drinking water shortage in the area. He appraised him of his meeting with the senior officials today and suggested that the State government and the Centre work together to find a sustainable solution to the problem.
The Chief Minister responded positively and promised to work towards a solution.