THE WASTEFUL, FAILED SAI WATER PROJECT
News brought up by: Robert Priddy
Already in 1996, the Sathya Sai Rayalaseema Water Project was shown to be a failure, as this report from Andhra Pradesh Regional News Network shows beyond a shadow of doubt. This is boasted repeatedly as being a Divine undertaking by the self-styled ‘Omnipotent’ Sathya Sai Baba. But his omnipotence seems not to include any influence on engineering plans, not to mention the sinking water table! The propaganda about this goes on, even though SSB had soon to hand over the whole white elephant to the Andhra Pradesh government to sort out and run somehow. (See:
ANANTAPUR DRYING UP
Anantapur: Even the Bhagwan Satya Sai Baba found it difficult to supply uninterrupted drinking water to the drought ravaged Anantapur district. According to official sources the ambitious Satya Sai water scheme is hampered due to a sharp decline in water table in Chitravati river bed on which the scheme hinges.
Larsen and Toubro has finished its part of the work of installing pipelines and infiltration wells. The scheme is bifurcated into two projects one of which covers 76 villages from Perumpally to
Puttaparthy, while the other project envisages to quench the thirst of the people of 91 villages in Chinnakotla, Mudigubba, Madiri region.
However, the declined water table has rendered the infrastructure built for the scheme worthless. The work on Chitravati balancing reservoir going on at a snail's pace resulted in this situation.
The irregularities and subsequent enquiries on the works have affected the Satya Sai Scheme.
We hope that the present state of affairs does not persist for long. "Once the reservoir is complete we will be able to regularly supply water to the targeted villages," said an engineer KV Sanjeeva Reddy, who works for Satya Sai Water Board.
According to a contract the Larsen and Toubro is to handover the maintenance responsibilities to the Board after the stipulated one year period.
Right now, the officials at the Board are holidaying at the cost of public money as there was little work to do. Under the Satya Sai Scheme six infiltration wells were dug at various points in Chitravati river bed.
Each well was expected to supply 30 million liters of water every day. Due to the sharp decline in the water table not even half of the capacity of the costly motors and pump sets was being utilized. Recent stray showers did not help increase the water table.
"We had high hopes on the scheme. water was supplied to us only for 20 days since the past eight months," a municipal engineer at Kadiri lamented. "The scheme's future depends on the competition of Chitravati reservoir and it is an unlikely prospect at least for 2 or 3 years to come.
Severe scarcity in Kadiri: Shortage of water is a perennial malady in several towns of Anantapur district. Civic bodies are unable to meet the increasing demand due to scant resources.
According to governments own stipulation a town consisting of a population of 75,000 should be supplied with 15 lakh gallons every day. Leave alone the standards, people in several towns are not even getting sufficient water to fulfill their barest minimum of needs.
For example Kadiri town has a population of 91,000 according to latest census. "We supply 6 lakh gallons of water every day. half of this supply is untreated. High content of flourine in raw
water were called for its treatment to reduce the chemical content," Kadiri Municipal commissioner Ajay Kishore told Deccan Chronicle.