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CM calls upon experts to debate water transfer

Visakhapatnam, Nov 2: Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy called upon the Congress Plenary of the 25th ICID (International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage) to extensively debate the issue of water transfer during rainy season from one basin to another to have water preservation and sustainable use.

Addressing the plenary of the seven session after inaugurating it along with the Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat at Hotel Radisson at Rishikonda here on Thursday, the Chief Minister said that the State Government is committed to enhance the agricultural productivity by adopting the principle of ‘more crop for every drop’ enunciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“But Andhra Pradesh, being the lower riparian state for many rivers like Vamsadhara, Nagavali, Godavari, Krishna and Penna, it encounters water shortages during lean monsoon years and also havoc during floods due to intense rains in the catchment areas,” he said, adding that water transfer from one basin to another is the need of the hour.

Despite the State having nearly 40 major and minor rivers with rich heritage of agriculture and irrigation dating back to several centuries, Rayalaseema and western parts of south coast are frequently encountering droughts due to scanty rain fall impairing the living conditions of the people living in those areas, he remarked.

Experts may think of micro irrigation and sprinkler system for effective use of water in agriculture but water transfer from one basin to another during the season of floods with in a limited time frame with a vibrant drainage and canal system in a cost-effective manner is the most debatable point, he said.

The Chief Minister asked the water management, drainage and irrigation experts to debate the issue and come out with practical recommendations. “Since you are debating the issue of tackling water scarcity in agriculture, you should discuss this,” he told them.

He further said that during the rainy season from June to September, it rains for a small period, but when it rains, it pours out and results in floods raising the requirement of water transfer.

It may be a global phenomenon, he said, suggesting that the ICID discuss this for designing ways for sustainable agriculture.

“You should come out with solutions for sustainable water management in a holistic and comprehensive way that would be technically feasible, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally friendly,” he told the 900 delegates attending from across the country and 74 other countries.

He hoped that the interdisciplinary debate and discussions of the ICID and its recommendations will continue to make lasting impact in the fields of irrigation, drainage and flood management to have a more water secure and food secure world.

He thanked the Centre for giving the opportunity of hosting the international event at Visakhapatnam and wished the delegates success in their endeavors.

Water Resources Minister A. Rambabu, IT and Industries Minister G. Amarnath, Medical and Health Minster V. Rajani and senior officials also participated in the event.

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