For years, Kondaveeti Vagu, a stream from the Kondaveedu Hill Range, has created havoc submerging standing crops in the Tadikonda and the Amaravathi mandals upstream the Prakasam barrage.
The quiet flowing drain turns into a ferocious stream when water from medium drains including Ayanna Vagu, Pottela Vagu, Pala Vagu etc, flow into it.As the waters flow dangerously above the numerous causeways on the Amaravathi Road, traffic comes to a standstill on the Guntur-Amaravathi road during severe monsoon.As the plans for the construction of Amaravati began taking shape, the threat of inundation loomed large but now the construction of a pumping scheme for lifting its flood waters into the barrage near the Undavalli regulator promises to divert the flood water into the Krishna Western Main Canal.
“The pumping scheme designed for a discharge of 5,000 cusecs, pump house, pipelines and delivery cistern are in the final stages of completion. We are also building a 133-KV sub station which would be operationalised soon,’’ Superintending Engineer, Irrigation Circle, Guntur M. Babu Rao told The Hindu on Tuesday.The work has been executed by the Hyderabad-based Mega Engineering and Infrastructure Ltd with 222.24 crore tapped from the Krishna Delta modernisation workThe modernisation of the Vagu is part of the grand plans of the AP government to build a blue and green city.
The CRDA has aimed at having 33% greenery and is planning to convert the entire stream running into a length of 300 km into a water way ideal for cargo transport and beautify the canal bunds with parks and walking tracks.Though various proposals have been forwarded by the Minor Irrigation Department over the years, none could fructify.
The flood waters used to be released into the river through an outfall sluice, but after the commissioning of the VTPS and the need to maintain a pond level of +17.39 M on the upstream of the Prakasam barrage, they were not discharged directly into the river but through a head regulator at Undavalli. But with the regulator becoming defunct, the flood waters had no way out and inundated hundreds of fertile farmland at the river front villages of Ventayapalem, Krishnayapalem, Undavalli, Penumaka etc.
Construction of the pumping scheme was not an easy task as the slushy soil required digging up to 15 metres.The installation of 15 pumps and 12 motors was finally completed in April.The only bottlenecks are permission from the Railways for the erection of two transmission towers and eviction of encroachments.