The first phase of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project in Telangana said to be one of the biggest irrigation and drinking water supply projects in the world, is set for inauguration on June 21.
On Thursday, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao invited Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as the Chief Guest for the inauguration. According to officials, Rao’s Andhra Pradesh counterpart Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy may also attend the event.
Fadnavis has been invited because, in March 2016, the Maharashtra government agreed to the Telangana government’s water-sharing arrangement if a dam or barrage was constructed across the River Godavari. The matter has been the cause for acrimony between united Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra for nearly four decades. The agreement paved the way for the construction of the mega irrigation and drinking water supply project at Medigadda.
On Friday, Rao announced that water would be pumped from next month onwards.
The mega project – projected to cost roughly Rs 1,00,000 crore on completion – extends approximately 1,832 kms across the state, of which, 1,531 are gravity canals and 203 kms comprise water tunnels. It is expected to provide water to 20 lakh acres across Karimnagar, Rajanna Sircilla, Siddipet, Medak, Yadadri, Nalgonda, Sangareddy, Nizamabad, Jagtial, Kamareddy, Nirmal, Medchel, and Peddapally Assembly constituencies.
When completed, the project is expected to supply water to 70 percent of the state’s 31 districts for irrigation, drinking and industrial use. Water from the Godavari at Medigadda, which is about 100 meters below sea level, will be lifted in six stages and supplied to Kondapochamma Sagar, which is at a height of 618 metres above sea level. Some of the biggest pumps in the world have been set up at various locations in the state to lift 2 Thousand Million Cubic feet (TMC) of water every day this year. Next year, the capacity will by ramped up to lift 3 TMC of water every day. A total of 20 water lifts and 19 pump houses will be involved.
With the construction of barrages at Medigadda, Annaram, and Sundilla, the water would be pumped to fill reservoirs constructed at Yellampally and Sriram Sagar Projects. According to officials, this means the river will be diverted to flow approximately 200 Kms into the state.
The power requirement for the project is also enormous. According to estimates, 4992.7 MW of power will be needed to lift 2 TMC of water and 7,152 MW will be needed to lift 3 TMC. For the first time in the country, the state’s electricity supply boards are using 139 MW pumps for the project in Ramadugu.