When Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy inaugurates the Komaram Bheem project near Ada in Adilabad district on Saturday, memories of Komaram Bheem, who led a rebellion against the Nizam seven decades ago from forests seeking a better deal for his Gond tribals, will come alive.
His fight was akin to that of Alluri Sitaramaraju, who fought the British earlier from the forests in East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts, for rights of the tribal people. The Nizam yielded to Bheem and sent an Austrian-born London University anthropology professor Christoph von Haimendorf to Adilabad area to study the problems and submit a report.
After completing his job, Haimendorf settled down in Marlawai near Indervelli, learnt the Gond language, then without a script, and even penned a book on their lives. His wife was buried at Malawai, in tune with her wishes, after her death in Hyderabad in the early 80s.
The Komaram Bheem project has been built across Paddavagu, a tributary of the Pranahita river to supply water to more than 45,000 acres in Asifabad, Wankidi, Kaghaznagar, and Sirpur mandals.
Mr. Reddy will release water into the left canal which has been built to a length of 35 km against the proposed 65 km, to initially serve 20,000 acres and finally 39,000 acres. Some of these lands are owned by tribal people.
The dam, its spillway with nine crest-gates, earthen dams on either flank, the left canal portion and its head-regulator have all been built at a cost of Rs. 400 crore. Brisk work is on to excavate the right canal (9 km), at a cost of Rs. 50 crore to serve another 6,000 acres.
This is the 13th project completed out of the 86 under the Jalayagnam taken up at whopping cost of Rs 1.86 lakh crore. For the present, only 3 tmcft has been stored in the reservoir against its full capacity of 10 tmcft.
It will supply water to more than 45,000 acres in four mandals of Adilabad district