Vijayawada: Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday said about 80 TMC of water from Godavari river can be diverted to Krishna river through upcoming Polavaram irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh.
The minister also said that part of this diverted water could be used for parched districts in Rayalaseema region.
"Excess flood water to the tune of 2,500 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) from Godavari river flows into sea, which is considered as a national waste and we can only save about 308 TMC water from this project," Venkaiah said.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a function here wherein he released a book titled 'Polavaram Project Facts, Issues and Documents'.
"Out of the 80 TMC water that can be diverted from Godavari, 45 TMC of water can be used for drought-hit Rayalaseema districts," the minister said.
He said diversion of water from Godavari can irrigate 16 lakh acres of land additionally in Andhra Pradesh.
On Polavaram project, Venkaiah said, "The project will provide 23.44 TMC water to Visakhapatnam for the drinking and industrial purpose in addition to the current water supply for irrigating 7.06 lakh acres of land in the district...960 MW of power can also be generated from the project."
To a query on opposition to the Polavaram project, Venkaiah said some politicians purposefully created "misconceptions" about the project among Telangana people.
"Only 154 villages are affected (due to the project) and all the displaced persons would be rehabilitated under the government's Resettlement and Rehabilitation scheme," he said, adding that linking of rivers is a priority for NDA government at Centre to ensure that drought-prone areas in the country get water.
Polavaram project is a multi-purpose irrigation project which has been accorded national project status by the Central government.
This under-construction dam, across Godavari river, is located in West Godavari and East Godavari districts in Andhra Pradesh and its reservoir spreads in parts of Chhattisgarh and Odisha also.