Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has sought allocation of Rs 52,941.25 crore for operation and maintenance of lift irrigation projects and the flagship water grid programme Mission Bhagiratha. The Chief Minister, in a letter to 15th Finance Commission chairman N K SIngh sought Rs 40,169.20 crore towards O and M for irrigation projects and another Rs 12,772.05 crore for Mission Bhagiratha.
The letter was handed over to Singh by State Finance Minister T Harish Rao in New Delhi on Tuesday. Chandrashekhar Rao requested additional allocation for State-specific needs for the years 2021-22 to 2025-26 for the operation and maintenance components of the lift and drinking water schemes, considering the unique geographical terrain of the State.
The Chief Minister, in his two-page letter, recalled how the chairman, during his visit to the State, had appreciated the efforts of the State government in making substantial investment in infrastructure, particularly in irrigation and drinking water supply.
Unique terrain of TS
“The geographical terrain of Telangana is such that major rivers like Godavari and Krishna flow deep below the ground level making irrigation possible only with multi-stage lift irrigation schemes, which require large capital investments, as well as provision for operation and maintenance and power consumption,” the Chief Minister said.
He said the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme on river Godavari had been brought to an operational stage in a very short period with an investment of Rs 80,500 crore and that water was being lifted through multi-stage lifts from a level of 93.5 metres at Medigadda, bordering Maharashtra, to a height of 618 metres at Kondapochamma reservoir to irrigate 45 lakh acres.
Drawing the commission’s attention to Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation scheme on the Krishna, the Chief Minister said that water required was required to be lifted from a level of 244 metres at the intake at Narlapur to 670 metres at Laxmi Devipally reservoir at a cost of Rs 35,000 crore.
Priority for irrigation
“Improvement of farmers’ income and growth in agriculture is not possible without development of irrigation. The finance commission should give due consideration to the typical geographical terrain of Telangana, which has necessitated substantial investment of more than Rs 1.5 lakh crore by the State in the sector,” the Chief Minister wrote.
Similarly, Mission Bhagiratha to supply drinking water to all the households in the State was a unique initiative which was lauded at the national level, the Chief Minister said, submitting projected requirements for the two flagship programmes of the State.