Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who released a white paper on irrigation here today, said the state would be made drought-free through river-linking, rainwater harvesting and dip irrigation system so as to achieve 20 per cent agricultural growth.
The white paper is titled ‘Water and Growth’.
The linking of Godavari and Krishna rivers was complete, the Chief Minister said, adding that all the 40 major and minor rivers in the state would be linked to create a “smart water grid”.
The purpose of the grid was to transfer excess water to the areas with deficient water resources.
About 5-6 lakh farm ponds would be built to harvest the rain water in drought-prone areas at the expense of Rs 2,000 crore, Naidu said.
The government would also provide mobile sprinklers to farmers free, which would draw water from the farm ponds.
His government had taken a major initiative to improve the ground water levels in the entire state by desilting the existing tanks, construction of new tanks by linking small streams and rivers, he said.
With the implementation of desilting project and ‘Neeru- Chettu program, a lot of water was saved when the three districts of Nellore, Kadapa and Chittoor received heavy rains last month, he said.