Hyderabad: The Sri Ram Sagar Project (SRSP), once considered the lifeline of a large part of Telangana, is all set to get a new lease of life. Subjected to neglect for decades during the previous regimes, the project yield had come down drastically. As against a designed yield of 196 tmc, at 75 per cent dependability, the actual yield as observed for the past 20 years had never been more than 54 tmc.
Even the storage capacity of the project, which was originally designed for 112 TMC, had come down to 80 TMC, thanks to the siltation problem that was not attended to over the years.
Due to increased water utilisation under several minor, medium and major projects that have come up in the upper reaches of Godavari basin, particularly in Maharashtra, the project seldom received inflows at the expected level. There was hardly any occasion that called for lifting of all its 42 floodgates to let out the surplus flow.
When the construction of the project was taken up way back in 1957 in Nizamabad district, the expectations were high. The project was intended to provide irrigation by utilising 140 tmc of water to over ten lakh acres under stage I and another 4.40 lakh acres by utilising 24 TMC under stage II. In addition, some two lakh acres of area was expected to be benefited by the flood flow canal. The farmers in the command area who were left high and dry for decades, are in jubilation today, thanks to the SRSP supplementation scheme announced by the State government. Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao will lay the foundation for the scheme before addressing a massive rally of farmers on August 10.
After holding a series of meetings held with engineering officials of the projects and stock-taking missions undertaken in the command area by the Irrigation Minister, T Harish Rao, the State government had announced Rs 2,000 crore for revival of the project. Half of it would go for the SRSP supplementation scheme and the rest for the modernisation of the SRSP stage II canal system.
The supplementation scheme would help draw through the flood flow canal about one TMC of Godavari water a day for 60 days at a stretch from the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation scheme’s dropping point.
Three small lifts would be installed at different locations for this purpose and it would involve no delay as the land acquisition required was only 40 acres. The supplementation scheme is expected to revive the dwindling fortune of the farmers under the major irrigation project.
The Chief Minister has given the responsibility of supervising the SRSP revival meeting to Finance Minister Etela Rajender. He has asked the Minister to ensure participation of public representatives, officials and farmers under SRSP in the event.