Rajendra Srivathsa Kondapalli’s ‘Lifting A River’ captures every phase of KLIS

The film chronicles the awe-inspiring undertaking of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme, spanning hundreds of kilometers across 13 districts of Telangana.

By   |  Published: 22nd Jun 2021  1:52 pmUpdated: 22nd Jun 2021  1:57 pm
Rajendra Srivathsa Kondapalli, documentary filmmaker.

Lifting A River: The Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme

Director & Executive Producer: Rajendra Srivathsa Kondapalli

Pulse Media Productions (2021)

This is the untold story of one of the biggest mega-builds ever to be undertaken in India or the world; a project massive not just in scale but in ambition because it aims not just to break engineering records, but to lift a river.

The Godavari flows through Telangana in southern India and remains the mainstay of communities in the region, who rely on it for irrigating their fields, drinking water and more. But for decades, due to both natural & manmade reasons, the river has failed to fulfil these ever-growing needs. In the 21st century, they need a 21st century revival. 

The film chronicles the awe-inspiring undertaking of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme, spanning hundreds of kilometers across 13 districts of Telangana, going as deep into the earth; emerging back to the surface, lifting the full monsoonal weight of the mighty Godavari. In doing so, it breaks records for the largest lift-irrigation pumps in the world and sets a precedent for how efficiently, safely and speedily such mega-infrastructure projects can be executed. This is a story of huge construction, gargantuan machines and the wonders of technology. It is also a film about the triumph of the human spirit, perseverance in the face of towering challenges and the sheer determination of thousands of workers, engineers, dreamers and doers who made the Kaleshwaram Project come to life.

Filmed over 2 years from 2017 and after 1 year of post-production, ‘Lifting A River’ captures every phase of the Kaleshwaram Project mega-build: from the mammoth scale of construction to the intimate precision of science & engineering. The human trials & tribulations are closely followed as is the final moment of victory: when a river rises up to meet the needs of its people.

Rajendra Srivathsa Kondapalli is an award winning documentary filmmaker with Pulse Media. 

His films shed light on fascinating worlds spanning science & technology, art & culture, social messaging & human interest stories. They have appeared on leading national & international networks like Doordarshan, BBC World, Al Jazeera (English), Discovery Networks Asia Pacific, the National Geographic Channel and OTT platforms: NETFLIX, HOTSTAR, D+ Discovery Plus. His films have been nominated for and received the Asian Television Award, Singapore (2010, 2012,), the Indian Telly Awards (2012, 2016), Indian Television Academy Award (2018),  

CMS Vatavaran Awards (2014), Golden / Silver Beaver Awards , National Science Film Festival ( 2013, 2014, 2015) and have been showcased at the Shanghai International Film Festival, Asian Side of the Doc, Tokyo, Mumbai International Film Festival etc. 

As director & executive producer, Rajendra Kondapalli made critically acclaimed National Geographic’s first-ever, highest TRP grossing India series in non-fiction: ‘India’s Mega Kitchens’. 

His National Geographic documentary film ‘Inside Tirumala Tirupati’ broke all time TRP records in the non-fiction genre on Indian television and its promo-teaser received over 15 million views.

‘Lifting A River’ Schedule Details : 

TV premieres 

25 June 2021, 8pm Friday on Discovery Channel & Discovery HD

28 June 2021, 9pm Monday on Discovery Science, 

29 June 2021, 950pm Tuesday on Discovery Turbo


27 June 2021, 2.32pm Sunday on Discovery Channel & Discovery HD

29 June 2021, 4.50pm Tuesday on Discovery Science

30 June 2021, 4.50pm on Discovery Turbo

‘Lifting A River’ OTT streaming on D+ Discovery Plus

Launch date: 25 June 2021

Also read: Lifting A River: The Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme in Telangana

Here’s all you need to know about Kaleshwaram Project in Telangana

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