The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu today held a meeting with Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, Shri Parameswaran Iyer, Secretary, Drinking Water & Sanitation, and Shri U.P. Singh, Secretary, Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation and discussed various possible ways in which drinking water and irrigation needs of the drought-prone Udayagiri area, Nellore district, Andhra Pradesh can be met. The Vice President shared with them the concerns of the people of this area.
In the recent past, the Vice President has been talking to people of Udayagiri constituency, from where Shri Venkaiah Naidu, now The Vice President of India was elected as MLA in 1978 for the first time. While enquiring about the general well-being, they informed the Vice President that ground water levels in the area have depleted considerably, most of the tanks/borewells have dried up and various water supply schemes are not serving the water needs to the fullest. They also informed the Vice President that this is the 7th consecutive year where there are no adequate rains. Most of them requested Shri Naidu to find out ways of getting water from Krishna basin or Somasila project.
In today’s discussion with the Vice President, officials suggested that they would explore various options in consultation with the Government of Andhra Pradesh and see what might be the most feasible option.
The Vice President advised Secretary, Water Resources to discuss with Central Water Commission and find out about the technical feasibility. He also suggested that the Detailed Project Report (DPR) and the various ongoing efforts of the State Government to mitigate the water crisis including through the Water Grid project could be studied.
After a preliminary assessment is made, the Vice President advised that a delegation of senior officials from the Ministry of Jal Shakti as well as from NITI Aayog and Central Water Commission could visit the area and interact with the concerned stakeholders to understand the ground reality and suggest a way forward.
The Vice President also spoke to the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh and shared with him the feedback he had received from many of his acquaintances in Udayagiri about the acute drinking water situation in the area. He appraised him of his meeting with senior officials today morning and suggested that it would be good if the State Government and the Government of India could work together to find a sustainable solution to the problem. The Chief Minister responded positively and promised to work towards a solution.