The Detailed Project Report (DPR) for linking the Godavari and Cauvery rivers at a cost of Rs.60,000 crore is ready and will be submitted to the cabinet soon, Union Water Resources and River Development Minister Nitin Gadkari announced on Monday.
He said after approval by the cabinet the funds would be raised from the World Bank or the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The project under the national river connectivity programme would make use of 1,100 tmc ft (thousand million cubic feet) of Godavari water going waste into the sea. He was confident that the project would resolve the water disputes among four southern states - Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
"We will take backwaters of Godavari to Krishna and from Krishna to Pennar and then to the tail end of Cauvery in Tamil Nadu," said Gadkari while addressing workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
He pointed out that 1,100 tmc ft water was going waste into the sea while there was a dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over 45 tmc ft.
The minister also revealed that under the project water would be carried through steel pipes instead of canals to ensure that there is no water loss. "An engineer from Andhra Pradesh who lives in United States has suggested this technology. The pipe will have low thickness because of special treatment," he said.
Stating that the Modi government was giving top priority to irrigation, Gadkari said it was financing the Polavaram project 100 per cent, which would be the lifeline of Andhra Pradesh by irrigating 2.89 lakh hectares. He claimed that 62 per cent of the project had been completed. "The Centre is giving 100 percent finance but the state government is not ready to give credit to Modi. They are criticising the Centre but I never understand the reasons behind it."
Without naming the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Gadkari said those who were previously alliance partners were saying negative things about Modi and the Central government. Claiming that the people of Andhra Pradesh had got more benefits thanks to the Centre's schemes in the last five years compared to the previous 50 years, he challenged the state government to go for a socio-economic impact study of these schemes.
Gadkari, who is also the minister for road transport, highways and shipping, said the infrastructure projects currently underway would change the face of Andhra Pradesh. He said the Centre added over 3,000 km of national highways with an investment of Rs. 1.25 lakh crore.
He said the DPR was in the final stage for the Anantapur-Amaravati Express Highway to be built at a cost of Rs. 20,000 crore.
In the ports sector, the Centre identified 108 projects with an investment of Rs. 1.64 lakh crore. Of these 19 projects costing Rs. 2,242 crore were completed till 2018 while 27 projects were under implementation with an investment of Rs 83,713 crore, he said.
Gadkari said a road map was developed for increasing the capacity of Visakhapatnam Port to 211 million metric tonnes from the existing 152 million metric tonnes per annum. The capacity of 11 other ports will
be enhanced with an investment of Rs.2,536 crore to create an additional capacity of 71 million metric tonnes per annum.