The first phase of Telangana’s Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project was inaugurated on Friday by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. It is touted to be one of the biggest irrigation and drinking water supply projects in the world. The project is built at a cost of Rs 80,000 crore which is expected to rise to Rs 1,00,000 crore on its completion.
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor E S L Narasimhan, Andhra Pradesh CM Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis were present as chief guests at the event.
The mega project is expected to provide water to 45 lakh acres of land across the state extending upto 1,832 kms for agriculture, drinking water and industrial purpose.
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 have been set up at various locations to lift 2 TMC feet of water every day this year.
When completed, the project is expected to supply water to 70 per cent of the state’s 31 districts. On Friday, Rao announced that water would be pumped from next month onwards. By next year, the capacity will be ramped up to lift 3 TMC of water every day. A total of 20 water lifts and 19 pump houses will be used in the project.
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.
— With ENS inputs