Kaleshwaram project, the pride of Telangana

By Author  |  J R Janumpalli  |  Published: 28th May 2020  12:35 am

Once Godavari water reaches Kondapochamma Sagar the highest point of the Kaleshwaram Project via Mallanna Sagar, KLIP would have made its tryst with its destiny.

KLIP is a unique project of lifting Godavari water from Medigadda near Kaleshwaram to Kondapochamma Sagar, a vertical height of 520 M over a length of 1,832 KM irrigation infrastructure, irrigating 45 lakh acres en route. It is one of its kind in the world and is a bold multifarious manifestation. It has all the facets of irrigation engineering — barrages, pump houses, lifts, surge pools, reverse pumping, tunnels, reservoirs, gravity canals so on and so forth.

Wherever whatever is needed, is fabricated to suit the requirement. The aim is to take Godavari water along the upward slope of Telangana to the top of its plateau, storing water and irrigating lands on the way on both sides. It creates new reservoirs, stabilizes the old ayacut under the half successful existing projects and fills up thousands of historic MI tanks. Brings as much land as possible under canal irrigation and replenishes the ground water to make the borewells successful wherever canal irrigation is not possible. It also provides drinking water to hundreds of villages and Hyderabad; water for industrial use and upgradation of environment.

It is an audacious attempt to harness the full share of Godavari water to TS. Much of it was going abegging down the river for decades. It ensures much needed water security to the region and will act like a springboard for the economic development of the State. Increased agriculture production and increase in rural income, promotion of MSMEs provides much needed employment, giving flip to the unorganized sector of the States economy. The 45 lakh acre irrigation project can change the life pattern of the region.

Here is the configuration of the Project which is reaching its final destiny against all odds —- political, geographical and financial in July 2020.

Project work

The project is divided into 7 links and 28 packages to carry the work simultaneously and complete the project in scheduled time. The first 4 links are the projects main artery which takes Godavari water from Medigadda(100 M FSL ) to Kondapochamma (620 M FSL) via Yallampalli, Mid Manair, Mallanna sagar. Links 5 to7 execute the lateral or parallel subsidiary projects which form part of the KLIP. The KLIP is a very versatile project. Its operation is very resilient, it can be operated in parts, as per the need in the command area. Though it is basically a Lift irrigation project, it will not be needed always to lift the water at one time from all the links to serve the entire configuration of the project. There is scope for supplying the irrigation water by three ways in KLIP. One, when there is flood to SRSP, water will be fed through flood flow canal of main Godavari in to Mid-Manair reservoir and through Kakatiya canal in to Lower-Manair reservoir. The excess flood of SRSP in Godavari will go in to Yallampalli reservoir. After that via Sundilla, Annaram, Medigadda, Tupakulagudem barrages it will end up in Polavaram and go down the river in to bay of Bengal.

Studies reveal that SRSP will get full flood at least once in 3 years on an average. When SRSP is in flood there is no need for Kaleshwaram Link I pumps (Medigadda to Yallampalli ) and Link II pumps (Yallampalli to Mid-Manair) to operate. Two, even if there is no flood in SRSP, there is a possibility of flood to Yallampalli from Kadem river from the catchment area between SRSP and Yallampalli. In that event there is no need to operate Kaleshwaram Link I pumps. By operating link II pumps from Yallampalli, water can be taken up to Kondapochamma reservoir, filling up intervening reservoirs.

The third choice is, when there are no floods only in the above catchments, the pumps in Link I and Link II will need to be operated in full to lift the water all the way from Medigadda to Kondapochamma, which is the full complement of the project. It is to say that depending on the rainfall and floods in the different catchments of the vast ayacut and the exigent local needs, the infrastructure of the project of pumping and delivery can be used selectively. It will facilitate to use the huge power needed, economically and efficiently to derive maximum benefit from the multifarious project, unlike in other conventional Dams or exclusive Lift irrigation projects.

— J R Janumpalli
(With inputs from ‘Kaleshwarm Project’ – Sri S R Deshpande)