The stage is all set for the inauguration of Kaleshwaram -- billed as the world's largest multi-stage lift irrigation project -- across the Goadavari river in Telangana.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao will formally inaugurate the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP) on Friday in the presence of his Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh counterparts and Telangana Governor E S L Narasimhan.
Termed as the biggest achievement by India's youngest state, the project has been designed to irrigate 45 lakh acres of land for two crops in a year besides meeting the drinking water requirement of 70% of the state.
Officials say that the Rs 80,000 crore Kaleshwaram project is a major step towards the goal of 'Bangaru Telangana' (Golden Telangana), which was promised by the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government by bringing an area of one crore acres, under irrigation.
The project will be inaugurated with the three Chief Ministers and the Governor participating in a series of programmes at the project site in Jayashankar Bhupalapally district near the state's border with Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh.
KCR has invited Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as the state extended full cooperation for the construction of the project. The two states in 2016 signed agreements to solve inter-state disputes, paving the way for the mega project.
Inviting new Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy for the event is also significant as both the Telugu states have resolved to amicably solve their disputes over sharing of waters of Godavari and Krishna rivers.
The foundation stone for the project was laid in 2016 and it is claimed to be the world's biggest project of its kind completed in the shortest time.
The state said that the construction of barrages and pump houses has been completed while the construction of the reservoirs is on at a brisk pace.
What the project entails
The government is making preparations to lift two TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of Godavari water per day from the Medigadda barrage, beginning July end.
Under the project, water from Godavari will be lifted to the Medigadda barrage, at about 100 metre from the sea level, and from there the water will be further lifted in six stages and supplied to Kondapochamma Sagar reservoir, which is at a height of 618 metre. In other words, the water from Godavari will be lifted at about half a kilometre height, an official note said.
The project comprises a water supply route spanning 1,832 km, a gravity canal spread across 1,531 km, 203 km in tunnel routes, 20 lifts, 19 pump houses and 19 reservoirs with a combined storage capacity of 141 TMC. It requires nearly 4,992 MW of electricity to pump 2 TMC of water every day in the first phase. The requirement will go up to 7,152 MW for lifting 3 TMC from next year.
Leading infra company Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) has completed the electro-mechanical works for the project. For pump houses, 120 machines (each machine consists of one pump and a motor) are being installed and out of these, MEIL alone is installing 105 machines.
MEIL is also constructing 17 pump houses. As part of Link 1 in the first phase, Medigadda, Annaram and Sundilla pump houses are being partially readied for pumping water. The world's biggest underground pump house is also ready to pump 2 TMCs of water per day.
"It's a privilege and a lifetime opportunity that we are executing this engineering marvel, building the world's biggest pumping scheme. We are engaging world-class technology involving the best agencies and manpower and are racing with time without comprising on quality," said B. Srinivas Reddy, Director, MEIL.
The Telangana government said that the works were taken up at a cost of Rs 80,190 crore. KCR has also invited top officials of the banks which provided loans for the project. "We have not received even a single rupee from the Centre. The project is self-funded and also with loans raised from a consortium of 20 commercial banks," he had told reporters earlier this week.
The government said that Rs 7,400 crore loan extended by Andhra Bank was accepted and in the state's 2017-18 Budget, Rs 6,681.87 crore was allocated for the project.
The total amount allocated for the project was again distributed among key reservoir projects and irrigation schemes under the Kaleshwaram project.
The Sri Seetharama Project near Rollapadu village in Tekulapally Mandal in Khammam district, for which KCR had laid the foundation stone on February 16, 2016, was allocated Rs 981 crore from the budget.
The Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation, which is a flagship project of the government, is estimated to have cost Rs 35,000 crore, out of which Rs 4,000 crore was allocated in the 2017-18 Budget.
The Vidya Sagar Raosâ€™ Dindi Lift Irrigation Scheme in Nalgonda was taken up at a cost of Rs 6,190 crore to aid fluoride-affected people in the district and Rs 500 crore was allocated in the 2017-18 Budget, the government said.
Once completed, the state government claims that the water needs of the state and that of Hyderabad would be completely met for the years to come.