Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday took the historic step of interlinking its two major rivers Godavari and Krishna, a development that is being seen as a boon for farmers of Krishna delta who are facing water scarcity.
The interlinking involves diversion of about 80 TMC of water from Godavari river to Krishna via a canal.
The interlinking was formalised by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu by performing puja and inaugurating a pylon at Ibrahimpatnam near here where the Godavari's water, flowing from the neighbouring West Godavari district, was linked to Krishna.
The development is seen as a boon for the farmers in the Krishna delta, mainly those in Krishna and Guntur districts, who have been facing acute shortage of water after Karnataka allegedly raised the height of the Almatti project.
Almatti dam is a hydroelectric project on Krishna river in north Karnataka which was completed in July, 2005.
Since September 1, the government has been carrying out a trial run, pumping water into the canal from the Tadipudi lift irrigation project of the Godavari.
The project is hugely significant as around 3,000 TMC of Godavari's flood water every year flows into the Bay of Bengal and hence is wasted.
Naidu said history was being created as the inter-linking of rivers was thought up by eminent engineer and former Union minister KL Rao several decades ago.
He recalled that the previous NDA government, headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had initiated the scheme for interlinking rivers but the project was "ignored" by the UPA dispensation that succeeded it.