Hyderabad: Farmers under the Nagarjuna Sagar Left Canal have reason a rejoice. Next August will mark an end to years of uncertainty that loomed large over their kharif prospects.
Failing to receive even normal inflows till September, the Nagarajuna Sagar project has been letting them down year after year. Often they opted for rain-fed crops instead of the usual wet crops, especially during kharif. With the reservoir level touching dead storage levels, drawals for drinking water turn a priority till October every year. But all this will be history soon.
To begin with, two lakh acres of the one million acre ayacut of the NSP Left canal will get supplementation from Sitarama Lift Irrigation Project (SRLIP) from kharif this year. Moves are afoot to release water from the ongoing SRLI Project to the NSP Left Canal from August next benefiting mainly the kharif farmers. Ayacutdars under zone II of the NSP Left Canal falling in Khammam district would be the major beneficiaries of the water releases from the new project.
Work in full swing
Work on the key components of SRLIP are in full progress. Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao, who accorded top priority to the irrigation sector, was keen on visiting the project on a stock taking mission. He deputed a four-member team — Smitha Sabharwal, Secretary CMO, C Muralidhar, Egineer-In-Chief, Sridhar Rao Deshpande, OSD (Irrigation) to Chief Minister and Penta Reddy, Advisor to State government (on lift irrigation) for immediate feedback on the progress.
The team was happy with the pace at which the works were being implemented. However, it wanted the implementation agency to complete works to such an extent that it would facilitate release of water to at least two lakh acres of the NSP Left Canal ayacut from August. Completion of the project is expected to take more than one year. Sita Rama Lift Irrigation Project (SRLIP) is the outcome of re-engineering of both the Rajiv Dummugudem Lift \
Irrigation Scheme and the Indira Sagar Lift Irrigation scheme (now merged into Sitarama Lift Irrigation Project).
Irrigation for Khammam
The project was envisaged to create irrigation potential of five lakh acres in the erstwhile Khammam district besides relieving the NSP left canal ayacut of its complete dependence on the meagre inflows being let into Nagarjuna Sagar project from the Srisailam dam that continues to be under the operative control of the Irrigation Department of Andhra Pradesh. The motors and pumps and other electromechanical items procured for Rajiv Dummugudem and Indira Sagar Lift Irrigation schemes were partly used in Bhakta Ramdas Lift Irrigation scheme that was completed in a record 11 months to provide water to over 60,000 acres in the first phase. Even the second phase of the Bhakta Ramdas project was completed in December.
The project which helped in improving the groundwater table in the rain shadow zone of Palair benefited both directly and indirectly over one lakh acres. The Sita Rama Lift Irrigation Project will draw water from Godavari River upstream of the existing Dummugudem Anicut. The Dummugudem Anicut is located at Dummugudem village, 20 km upstream of Bhadrachalam town on river Godavari.