Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Thursday dismissed critics of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme saying “the views expressed by such people on the project’s expenditure and maintenance are baseless and meaningless.”
Rao said such critics failed to understand the basic fact that “each geographical area has its own unique challenges and will have its own priorities and preferences based on the prevailing circumstances.” “For example,” he said, “water is not available in Gulf countries and hence the government there spends more money on drinking water. For Las Vegas which was a desert once, the US government spends huge sums of money supplying water from a distance of 600 km.”
He said one of the top priorities of the State government is to provide water for irrigation, improve the livelihoods of farmers and boost agriculture. This, he said, will become a reality when water from the Kaleshwaram project begins irrigating 45 lakh acres for both Kharif and Rabi crops.
“This means, in a year, we will be irrigating 90 lakh acres and within three years, the resultant crop value would be equal to the capital expenditure on construction of the project. The lives of the farmers will change for the better as will the entire atmosphere in Telangana,” the Chief Minister said.
He said construction activity required to lift 2 TMC of water from Godavari through Kaleshwaram project is almost nearing completion. The wet trial runs of pumps have been successful and from the end of July this year, water will have to be lifted from the project.
Chairing a high-powered review meeting on the project and its power requirements at Pragati Bhavan, the Chief Minister said as per Central Water Commision’s 44-year yield data, water is available in plenty at Medigadda, where the primary Kaleshwaram project barrage is being constructed.
The water is to be lifted and supplied through Medigadda, Annaram and Sundilla to Yellampally and from there to Mid-Manair. Through reverse pumping from Mid-Manair, one TMC of water will be lifted into Sriramsagar project and another TMC to Mallanna Sagar. And next year, three TMC of water will be sent to Yellampally and two TMCs to Kondapochamma Sagar to fill all village tanks and reservoirs. In addition to 22 lakh acres ayacut proposed under
Kaleshwaram project, water will be provided to Sriramsagar ayacut, Guthpa-Ali Sagar schemes, Nirmal-Mudhole constituencies and to Husnabad constituency through Gowravalli reservoir, he said.
The meeting was attended among others by Chief Advisor to the Government Rajiv Sharma, Advisor Anurag Sharma, CMD Transco D Prabhakar Rao, MP Santosh Kumar, MLC Seri Subash Reddy, Principal Secretary to CM S Narsing Rao, Secretary Smita Sabharwal, Advisor on Lift Irrigation Projects Penta Reddy, ENC Muralidhar Rao, Transco JMD C Srinivas Rao, Genco & Transco Directors Surya Prakash, Venkatrajam, and Jagath Reddy.