In what is believed to be a first in India, two irrigation facilities in Telangana were given the heritage tag by the International Executive Council, the apex decision-making body of International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), at its 69th Council meeting in Saskatoon, Canada.
The Sadarmatt anicut across Godavari river in Medampally in Nirmal district and Pedda Cheruvu in Kamareddy district that received the tags, were nominated by the Telangana government and the facilities have gone down in the ICID register of Heritage Irrigation Structures.
Both the irrigation facilities are over 100 years old. According to the state irrigation department, the Sadarmutt anicut dates to 1891-92 and was constructed by Nawab Ikbal-ud-Dowla to facilitate irrigation for 13,100 acres of land. It is built 50 kilometres downstream of the Sri Ram Sagar Project.
The major crop, being cultivated in 80% of the area, is paddy. Maize and turmeric are also grown on the some of the land.
â€˜Anicutâ€™ is the English translation of Telugu word â€˜ana-kattâ€™ which means rainfall bund. Sawrnavagu stream is the major source of water in the Sadarmutt bund which measures 437.7 metres on the left flank and 23.8 metres on the right. The canal on the left is 21.5 kilometres long as compared to the right one which is 10 kilometres. The distributory is 12-km-long.
The Sadarmutt anicut has also served as a location of recreation like picnics for the people of the area.
The Pedda Cheruvu bund, which translates to â€˜big tankâ€™ in Telugu is spread over 618 acres and dates back to 1897 when Mir Mahaboob Ali Khan, the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad state was the ruler.
The catchment area of the 1.8-km-long bund is 68.97 square kilometres. The cumulative flow is 8,860 cusecs, as opposed to Sadarmutt anicut, whose maximum flood discharge stands at 7.76 cusecs.
The Pedda Cheruvu bund, with a capacity of 0.175 tmcft, irrigates more than 900 acres of land in Kamareddy, Sarampally, Narsampally and old Rajampet.
It also provides potable water for the areaâ€™s residents, and like the Sadarmutt bund, is also a picnic and recreational spot. This was one of the reasons that the government wanted to encourage tourism in the spot by creating requisite infrastructure.