Nalgonda: After more than a decade-long wait, people of eight mandals in four Assembly constituencies are going to get irrigation facility to one lakh acres through Udayasamudram Lift Irrigation Scheme (USLIS), for which the foundation stone was laid in 2007. A trial run of the scheme is likely in March, sources say.
USLIS, also called Brahmana Vellamla Project, envisages lifting of water from the foreshore of Udaya Samudram Balancing Reservoir (USBR) of AMR-SLBC Project for irrigating one-lakh-acre ayacut in chronically drought-affected upland areas and also for providing drinking water to 107 fluoride-affected villages in eight mandals — Nalgonda, Narketpally, Chityala, Munugode, Ramannapet, Shaligouraram, Kattangur and Nakrekal, spread across four Assembly constituencies — Nakrekal, Nalgonda, Munugode and Thungathurthy.
Though the foundation stone was laid by then Chief Minister YS Rajasekhar Reddy in August, 2007, the execution of the works was kept in cold storage by the Congress government in united Andhra Pradesh for nearly five years. In 2007, the State government accorded an administrative sanction of Rs 699 crore for the project. But it was only after K Chandrashekhar Rao assumed charge as the Chief Minister of Telangana in 2014, the work on project had resumed. Former Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao also inspected the works of the project thrice before the 2018 elections and kept the works on fast-track.
According to officials, tunnel work of the project was already completed and of the two pump sets being set up at a pumphouse, one was ready for a trial run. Earthworks, lining for draft tubes, concrete work on trash rack gates and slab were also completed. Concrete work on stop-log gates at the pumphouse was also in progress.
Umbrella technology used for tunnel
The crucial tunnel (10.6 km) excavation work was completed, and the lining work was completed till 2.63 km and the work was in progress. In addition to this, the excavation of 6.9-km-long open channel was already completed. AMRP-SLBC Executive Engineer Srinivas Reddy said while taking up excavation works for the tunnel, walls collapsed at some places due to loose soil and that caused the delay in completing the project. Taking into consideration the suggestion of engineering experts, excavation work was completed using “Umbrella technology”.
At Brahmana Vellamla Balancing Reservoir (BVBR), which was built with a storage capacity of 0.302 tmc, civil work on head regulators of Left Main Canal (LMC) and Right Main Canal (RMC) was completed, and mechanical works i.e. manufacturing of gates was in progress. It was planned to provide irrigation to 43,000 acres through the LMC and 57,000 acres through the RMC. Of the 6.5 km proposed length of the LMC, excavation works of four km were completed. Regarding the RCM, excavation works of six km were completed of the proposed length of 25.5 km.
For supplying electricity to two motors each with a capacity of 16MW (21,448 HP), the work on setting up 220KV switchyard was taken up near pumphouse at Choudampally village in Narketpally mandal, and 95 per cent of the work was completed. Testing and commissioning were yet to be done. Land acquisition has become the main bottleneck for the progress of the project works. Of the 3,876 acres of land required, only 1,304 acres was acquired from farmers. The farmers demand that they be provided with higher compensation than the market rate, which was also impacting the process.
According to the sources, a trial run of USLIS is likely to be conducted in March this year. The Chief Minister would make an announcement on the commencement of USLIS during his next visit to Nalgonda. The Chief Engineer of AMRP-SLBC was instructed to submit a detailed report on the status of the project by the CMO.