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Mega project fails to deliver

S. Harpal Singh
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Though the Komram Bheem project was inaugurated two years ago in Adilabad district, it has neither supplied water to agriculture fields nor in a position to hold water

Collosal waste:The Singareni Collieries is exploring for coal deposits close to the KB Project reservoir in Adilabad district.-Photo: S. HARPAL SINGH
Collosal waste:The Singareni Collieries is exploring for coal deposits close to the KB Project reservoir in Adilabad district.-Photo: S. HARPAL SINGH

The Rs. 400 crore Komram Bheem project in Adilabad district is more likely to end up as a white elephant given the developments or the lack of it. It is about two years since the medium irrigation facility was inaugurated near Ada village in Asifabad mandal but it has neither supplied to water to agriculture fields nor is in a position to hold water to its full capacity as designed.

Despite the excessive rainfall this season, the quantum of water stored in the reservoir of this project is lesser than that seen in summer. Officials are reluctant to give relevant details but, the reservoir seems to be just half full against its full storage capacity of 10 tmc as almost all the flood inflows received during the last three months were discharged into Peddavagu river across which the project is built.

The Executive Engineer of Komram Bheem Project told The Hindu that water could not be stored because of a high level bridge being constructed about a kilometre away from the reservoir.

Feigning to be busy he declined to answer whether water could not be stored to save the standing crops cultivated illegally on the bed of the reservoir.

Leave alone realising the full irrigation potential of this facility at 45,000 acres in Asifabad, Wankidi, Kagaznagar and Sirpur mandal, there is no hope of the left canal work getting completed in near future. According to reports, the canal work has run into problems of aquisition of forest land.

People in the area also expressed an apprehension that the Singareni Collieries will take up coal mining in the area rendering the project useless. The Singareni officials have denied any plans to open coal mines near the Komram Bheem Project or the Vattivagu project in the same mandal for that matter but, they concede that there are heavy coal deposits underneath these dams forming part of the 200 million tonnes of deposits estimated to exist in the area.

“The Vattivagu project faces the threat of heavy siltation thanks to the Singareni dumping the excavated silt from Khairguda open cast mines near its reservoir. Once the coal giant opens new mines near the Komram Bheem project it could go the same way,” says an Irrigation official on conditions of anonymity.


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