Kaleshwaram: Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao said that effective planning and management had eliminated delays in implementation of works in the gigantic Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme.
Speaking to Telangana Today, the Minister said the project, intended to irrigate over 37 lakh acres, is top priority for the State government. “The State could sustain the pace and momentum of works with timely release of funds,” he added.
The approach to the construction of projects was not taken up seriously in the undivided State, and the cost of some projects went up by 100 per cent as they took decades for completion. Jurala project on Krishna is a classic example of such avoidable delays, and the final cost had gone up by 100 per cent, the Minister pointed out.
“Similarly, the cost of Sriram Sagar project went up by 27 times, and it was declared as completed by the previous regime, when it actually wasn’t completed. The SRSP stage 11 was left incomplete by the previous government without giving water to the ayacut,” he said, adding that Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao took up the responsibility of completing the task in a time-bound programme and with allocation of adequate funds. Six of the major projects including Nagarjuna Sagar implemented in the undivided State had heavy cost overruns,” Harish Rao said.
Giving a major boost to the project, the bankers’ consortium led by Punjab National Bank had also been lending support with loan assistance. The works are being executed at a brisk pace as there was no dearth of funds. The Minister said that in case of any escalation in the cost of the integrated project, it will only be on account of SSR. The upward revision of SSRs is a general phenomenon that contribute to increase in construction costs. The SSRs are notified by the Centre and the normal increase will be about 14 to 15 per cent, Harish Rao said.
Some of the later additions to the original design are becoming necessary. The WAPCOS, did not include the bunds on either flaks of the barrages being built as part of the project. Now to prevent inundation of lands of farmers in the vicinity, we felt the need for providing the bunds.
Treatment of loose soil in the massive tunnel network of 203 km is also adding to the original cost a bit. The value of land had gone up substantially. Land is being acquired for the various projects coming up as part of the Kaleshwaram Lift irrigation scheme would add to the overall cost considerable.