Hyderabad: June 21 will be a red letter day in the history of Telangana when one of the biggest lift irrigation projects in the world — Kaleshwaram — will be inaugurated by the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in the presence of his counterparts from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra YS Jaganmohan Reddy and Devender Fadnavis respectively.
Police have started making elaborate security arrangements at the main site of the project in Bhupalapally district and 4,000 personnel were being deployed as the project lies in the Maoist affected area. Warangal Range Inspector General Nagi Reddy was supervising the security for which anti-Maoist Greyhound force and the Special force was also being deployed. A close watch was being maintained along the border with Chhattisgarh.
Meanwhile KCR was planning to visit Mumbai and Amaravati to personally invite Fadnavis and Jaganmohan Reddy as the guest speaker to the grand event.
Kaleshwaram across river Godavari was initiated by the KCR government about four years ago as a prestigious flagship program as it has the potential to completely change the face of the region which was till now drought prone and parched. Though river Godavari passes through the northern Telangana region the peculiar topography had kept the farmers of the area deprived of its benefits as the river flows at a lower level and the arable lands were at a much higher plane.
The project which has many unique features was an engineering marvel as it will lift the Godavari waters to a height of 618 metres by using the world’s biggest, gigantic and most powerful pumps. The water will be lifted at six places and it will pass through 1,531 kms long canals and 203 kms long under ground tunnels and will flow through a network of reservoirs to irrigate more than 4 million acres of land in 13 districts.
The project, for which KCR had laid the foundation stone on May 2, 2016 at Kannepally was completed at a cost of Rs920 billion. It involved construction of three barrages, 19 reservoirs and 20 lifts with 19 huge pump houses. The reservoirs will have storage capacity of 141 tmc ft.
The sheer size of the operations of the project could be gauged from the fact that it will require 4992.47 MWs of power.
To complete the project on time 4,000 people worked round the clock. Hailing the achievement KCR said, “Kaleshwaram will create history as the largest lift irrigation project built in the fastest mode”.
The project, pending for more than six decades, was fastracked when KCR reached an agreement with Maharashtra government in March 2016 to resolve the interstate dispute over sharing of river waters and submergence of villages.
Officials say that by irrigating more than 4 million acres of land for two crops, Kaleshwaram will bring an economic revolution in the once backward and neglected region and bring prosperity to the poor farmers.