Instead of the proposed iconic cable bridge on the river Krishna, connecting Somasila in Telangana and Siddeswaram in Andhra Pradesh, Rayalaseema activists are now demanding a bridge cum barrage that could solve water scarcity much to the benefit for the people residing in both the sides.
The Rayalaseema activists and former MLA Byreddy Rajasekhar Reddy on Saturday took out a protest march “Chalo Siddeswaram” demanding a barrage cum bridge soon after Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari announced a cable bridge on the river Krishna at the cost of almost Rs1100 crores, which will reduce the travel time between Hyderabad and Tirupati by almost 90 km.
However, the bridge has been planned to be aesthetic, keeping in mind the tourism aspect of the project. It would be a great boon to the people of Kollapur in Nagarkurnool in Telangana, who have to take a risky boat journey to reach Andhra Pradesh.
The demand was raised in 2007 after 60 people met watery grave, when the boat carrying them capsized on the river.
Even after assurance, the erstwhile Governments have done precious little and very recently, Gadkari formally announced the approval of the funds for the project.
However, Reddy pointed out that a barrage cum road would benefit people of both sides, particularly, the largely arid Rayalaseema, which is prone to long droughts and water scarcity.
He appealed to the Centre to redesign the 3 km long proposed bridge connecting Somasila with Siddeswaram.
He said that “a water storing barrage rather than a mere tourist attraction – iconic bridge will stabilise irrigation in Rayalaseema and reduce distress migration in Palamuru-Mahabubnagar areas of South Telangana.”