CM Jagan calls upon experts to debate water transfer

 - Sakshi Post

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 the rainy season from one basin to another to preserve water and ensure sustainable use. Addressing the plenary during the seventh session, after inaugurating it along with Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat at Hotel Radisson in Rishikonda on Thursday, the Chief Minister stated that the State Government is committed to enhancing agricultural productivity by adopting the principle of ‘more crop for every drop,’ as enunciated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"But Andhra Pradesh, being the lower riparian state for many rivers like Vamsadhara, Nagavali, Godavari, Krishna, and Penna, encounters water shortages during lean monsoon years and also experiences 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 a rich heritage of agriculture and irrigation dating back several centuries, Rayalaseema and western parts of the south coast frequently face droughts due to scanty rainfall, impairing the living conditions of the people in those areas, he remarked.

Experts may consider micro-irrigation and sprinkler systems for the effective use of water in agriculture, but water transfer from one basin to another during the flood season within 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 water management, drainage, and irrigation experts to debate the issue and come up with practical recommendations. "Since you are debating the issue of tackling water scarcity in agriculture, you should discuss this," he told them.

He further stated that during the rainy season from June to September, it rains for a short period, but when it rains, it pours, resulting in floods and increasing the need for water transfer. This may be a global phenomenon, he said, suggesting that the ICID discuss this for designing ways to ensure sustainable agriculture. "You should come up with solutions for sustainable water management in a holistic and comprehensive way that is 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 debates and discussions of the ICID and its recommendations would continue to have a lasting impact in the fields of irrigation, drainage, and flood management, resulting in a more water-secure and food-secure world. He thanked the Centre for giving the opportunity to host the international event in Visakhapatnam and wished the delegates success in their endeavors. Water Resources Minister A. Rambabu, IT and Industries Minister G. Amarnath, Medical and Health Minister V. Rajani, and senior officials also participated in the event.

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