‘Annarthulu, anadhalundani aa navayugamadhentha dhooram,
Karuvantu kaatakamantu kanipinchani kaalalepudo’
“How far is the new era where there are no poor, unaided and deprived?
When will those times come, where there is no poverty, famine and starvation?”
Sixty years ago, my father Dr Dasarathi Krishnamachary, poet, linguist, writer, lyricist, freedom fighter and a humanist, expressed his anguish towards the backwardness of Telangana. He fought against the autocratic rule of the Nizam, condemned every tyrannical move of the rulers and filled confidence in people through his inspiring poetry. He dreamt of a flourishing Telangana, ruled by its own people, and with abundant richness, peace and harmony. He saw the people’s agony, poverty and was jailed several times for protecting and working for people’s interest. Despite all these hurdles, he penned revolutionary poems in jail, which caught on with the masses.
His famous words ‘Naa Telangana Koti Rathanaala Veena’ (My Telangana worth a one crore diamond veena) was an inspiration for Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao to coin his slogan, ‘Naa Telangana Koti Yekaraala Maagaani’ (My Telangana of one crore acres wetlands).
This dream of Telangana is set to turn into reality with the Kaleshwaram project, which is progressing at breakneck speed. ‘Naadunu nedunu telanganamu odaledu shatruvula donga dhatiki, Naa Telangana povuchunnadi padhaana’
The achievement of Telangana after 60 years of fight, the imagination itself is beautiful, that “all the villages in Telangana are going to wear a green saree as a new youthful bride”. The Kaleshwaram project will play a key role in making this a reality. I feel happy that Dr Dasarathi’s anguish, people’s sufferings and agony – have all come to an end and we are now beginning to live in the land we always dreamt of.
Telangana is situated between Godavari and Krishna. The Godavari flows from Maharashtra into the northern part of the State at a lower elevation, i.e. at about 100 m above sea level, whereas Telangana stands at a higher elevation, 300 m to 590 m above sea level. Therefore, gravity-based projects are not feasible and lift-based projects remain the State’s only resort to address its irrigation needs.
The State government is making efforts to lift the water that flows waste into the sea and pump it back into Telangana. The intention is to use it for irrigation and drinking water needs for Hyderabad, villages along the project’s path as well as for industries, covering an additional agricultural area of 18.82 lakh acres.
The Kaleshwaram project, which is an engineering marvel, covering about 500 km, aims to utilise 240 tmc of water. Of the five Kaleshwaram pumps, four have already completed wet run successfully.
On a recent visit to Kaleshwaram, I saw large swathes of land that have been deprived of water for decades. Degradation of soil has taken a toll on the livelihood of the villagers, but the project as well its steady progress, gives me confidence that as soon as the Godavari flows upstream, these lands from Medigadda to Yellampally will have a spread of greenery. The brisk pace of the project and the unwavering focus of the State government will make it happen at the earliest.
The project will help Telangana store water for 365 days in a stretch of 40 km of 100 feet height within the river. There will be enough water for pumping from this storage to anywhere in Telangana through canals for about 90 days.
Pride of Farmers
Dr Dasarathi believed and repeatedly stated that Telangana belongs to farmers. Today, his soul must be happy that his dreams are soon going to be a reality.
‘Pranamunoddi Ghora ghaganaatamul padagotti, manchi maaganamul sruginchi, yemukalu nusi chesi, polaalu dunnina Raitude telanganamu Raitude’.
The Kaleshwaram project, by addressing the water needs of the farmers of Telangana, will not only make them self-reliant but also make them an integral part of Golden Telangana. The continuous focus of the State government on the project, sorting out issues and making it happen at a good speed needs to be appreciated.
The State government’s emphasis on addressing issues of people by implementing targeted schemes for the uplift of weaker, economically and socially backward sections, providing safe drinking water to every household, restoration of lakes on a war footing, childcare, women’s empowerment, health and farmer welfare – will all put the State on the path of Golden Telangana.
In fact, Kaleshwaram will knit together a series of temples right from Kaleshwara Mukteswara Swamy Sannidi, flowing through Komarelli Mallanna Jhataajutam, touching the feet of Yadadri Narasanna and moving on to Chilukuru Balaji Theerdham, nourishing the fields of the State. Kaleshwaram water is set to be the elixir for Bangaru Telangana.
‘Naaku thallivi neevu, ne neeku suthuda,
nalla naatiki netiki nanu dinammu moyu chunnavu,
naa galammuna, kalaana,
Naa Telangana Koti Rathanaala Veena’
Let water flow now, there will be a tomorrow soon, milk and honey will flow throughout Golden Telangana ‘The Promised Land.’
(The author is General Manager, SoFTNET)