Resolute irrigation projects
Telangana has absolute rights over its share of river water and has put in place various infrastructure projects to adequately use its share for optimum benefit in irrigating its lands
Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, soon after assuming charge in June 2014 initiated an action plan aimed at providing assured irrigation facility to about 125 lakh acres of land in the State. The strategy included revival and reengineering of pending projects to suit the needs of Telangana. As part of this plan, the completion of 23 major projects and 13 medium projects was prioritised.
Pending projects like Kalvakurti, Bhima, Nettempadu, Koyilsagar, Midmaner, Singur, Yellampally, Kinnersani, Palem Vagu, Komaram Bhim, Mattadi Vagu, Nelvai, Jagannathpur, etc., which were neglected by the erstwhile governments, have been on a fast-track to completion. By 2020, irrigation facilities will be made available for about 80 lakh acres. When the projects are completed, the projection would be an additional ayacut of 53.02 lakh acres and stabilisation of 25.93 lakh acres.
To ensure optimum utilisation of the Telangana share of water in the rivers, CM KCR transformed himself as an engineer and designer and spent hours reengineering and redesigning irrigation projects. Before state bifurcation, Telangana could not make full utilisation of river water as per its share. The share of Telangana in River Godavari and River Krishna accounts for 1,266 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) beside another 150 TMC of surplus water. But to make optimum utilisation of this share, there were no projects.
Through reengineering and redesigning, CM KCR ensured adequate water to South Telangana through Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme and Dindi Lift Irrigation Scheme and to North Telangana through the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project.
Adilabad district will get water through B R Ambedkar Pranahitha and Chanaka-Korata projects. Khammam will get through Sitarama and Bhakta Ramadasu projects. To provide continuous availability of water, the Government is constructing Tupakulagudem Barrage (Sammakka Barrage) on River Godavari near Kantanapalli. This will ensure water availability at Devadula throughout the year.
Because of the CM's initiative and cooperation of the Maharashtra Government for projects on the Godavari, water from Pranahitha River and Penganga River was ensured through a historic agreement between these two states. This paved way for the Laxmi Barrage (Medigadda) on River Godavari, Tummuidihatti; Rajapeta on Penganga; Chanaka-Korata and Pimparad barrages on Penganga River. The agreement between the two states will go a long way in the utilisation of 967 TMC of Godavari water which is Telangana's rightful share.
The 'Kaleshwaram Project' has been described as a man-made engineering wonder by several visitors that included members of the Central Water Commission, irrigation experts, representatives from other states, etc. This is the largest multistage lift irrigation project in the country and world which is being constructed on a fast track basis as per the schedule. Water from River Godavari at Medigadda, which is at 94 metres above the sea level, is lifted in 10 stages and supplied to Kondapochamma Sagar, which is at 618 metres height. In other words, the water from Godavari River is being lifted about 500m in height.
After its completion, 360 TMC of water will be available from this. Initially, two TMC of water per day is to be drawn from this project for 120 days and thus 240 TMC will be made available. It has also been decided that an additional TMC of water (three TMC total) will be drawn up later since there is abundant water availability at Medigadda. 45 lakh acres will come under irrigation under this project. In the Kaleshwaram Project, water will be lifted from Laxmi Barrage, Saraswathi Barrage and Parvati Barrage to Yellampally barrage through the Godavari River course in link 1.
The pump houses for lifting the water in link 1 are Laxmi, Saraswathi and Parvati. Water will be lifted from the Yellampally Barrage to Mid Manair reservoir in two stages from Nandi and Gayatri pump houses in link 2. Water will be lifted from Mid Manair reservoir to Kondapochamma Sagar in five stages filling Annapurna, Ranganayaka Sagar, Mallanna Sagar reservoirs enroute in link 4.
As part of the Kaleshwaram Project, River Godavari water has already reached Kondapochamma Sagar. With this irrigation facility, water is made available to lands in Siddipet, Siricilla, Husnabad, Manakondur, Jangaon, Gajwel, Dubbaka, Medchal, Sangareddy, Aler, Bhuvanagiri, Pathancheru constituencies.
Water was drawn from Mid Manair reservoir through an approach channel and lifted from Annapurna pump house and poured into Annapurna reservoir, thus accumulating 1.7 TMC of water out of its capacity of 3.5 TMC. From there, through a gravity canal and a tunnel, the water reaches a surge pool (Chandlapur pump house) of Ranganayaka Sagar. Through motors installed in the pump house, Godavari water is being lifted and poured into Ranganayaka Sagar reservoir which is at a height of 490 metres. Godavari water is being released to the canals of Ranganayaka Sagar to fill hundreds of tanks and check dams in Siddipet district.
The historical Kondapochamma Sagar reservoir forming part of 'Kaleshwaram Project', was formally inaugurated on May 29, by CM KCR in the presence of Tridandi China Jeeyar Swamy. Motors in the Markook pump house were switched on by KCR heralding the release of River Godavari waters into Kondapochamma Sagar reservoir. From Laxmi barrage (Medigadda) on to the Godavari in 10 stages of lift, water will reach Kondapochamma Sagar reservoir of 15 TMC capacity, which is at a height of 618 metres.
Sitarama Project works were formally grounded by CM KCR on February 16, 2016. The Bhakta Ramadasu Lift Irrigation Project was completed in a record time of 11 months. Pipelines, pumphouse, approach channel and substation construction for this project were taken up parallelly. The project was formally inaugurated by CM KCR on January 31, 2017. Through this project, 58,000 acres of land in Tirumalayapalem, Kusumanchi, Nela Kondapalli, Mudigonda, Khammam Rural, Mahaboobabad Mandals were brought under irrigation.
'Seetamma Sagar Multipurpose Project' is coming up at Ammagaripally village in Ashwapuram Mandal of Bhadradri Kothagudem district on Godavari River 200 metres downstream of existing Dummugudem Anicut. Work on the 'Palamoor-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme' which is a boon to erstwhile Mahbubnagar, Rangareddy and Nalgonda districts has also been fast-tracked.
The Government also decided to take up the Dindi project, now named after late R Vidyasagar Rao, benefiting the Nalgonda people who have been suffering from fluoride for decades. 'Kalvakurti Lift Irrigation Scheme' which has been pending for more than three decades is now nearing completion.
The Telangana State Government under the stewardship of CM KCR has left no stone unturned to see that more than one crore acres of land be brought under irrigation in the State. This is the ground reality and Telangana has absolute right on its share of water and accordingly also has the right to carry out projects towards making optimum utilisation of its share.
The writer is the Chief Public Relations Officer to the Chief Minister of Telangana. Views expressed are personal