The redesigned irrigation projects in Telangana are heavily banking on the inflows in two major tributaries – Pranahita and Indravati, which together have annual average flows of nearly 700 TMC ft water in Telangana territory – of the main river Godavari.
The dependency on tributaries has become inevitable with the hopes of getting ample water from the main river course into Telangana getting dwindled year after year.
Last two years have been worst with the command area under the first major project across Godavari in the State, Sriramsagar Project (SRSP), almost going arid.
Sources in the Irrigation Department stated that there is every reason to depend on the water available in the two tributaries for sustaining the redesigned projects since the Bachawat Tribunal Award on Godavari too has ensured utilisation of ample quantity of water from them below Maharashtra territory.
“Besides, the terrain and thick forest cover in the adjoining areas of Maharashtra does not allow it feasible tapping of water from the two tributaries in its territory”, a senior engineer told The Hindu .
Indravathi has an annual average flow of over 400 TMC ft and Pranahitha has over 280 TMC ft into Telangana, which has a share of over 930 TMC ft in Godavari waters against over 500 TMC ft of residuary Andhra Pradesh. Not even 300 TMC ft has been tapped by Telangana so far, while AP is a shade better in that aspect.
“That’s the reason why the focus of the government exercise to redesign projects has been to tap water in the two tributaries. Redesigning of Kaleshwaram lift component with three barrages at Medigadda, Annaram and Sundilla has already been completed as part of Pranahitha-Chevella project”, Advisor (Irrigation) to State Government R. Vidyasagar Rao stated.
He explained that the plan as of now was to utilise only 160 TMC ft, as envisaged originally, from Pranahitha river as part of Pranahitha-Chevella project.
However, the component of Tummidihatti barrage was yet to be finalised. Final touches were being given to redesigning of tapping Indravathi water as part of Kanthanapalli project from Thupakulagudem or a place further downstream, he explained.
Sources in the department, however, stated that efforts were on to convince Maharashtra for submergence of its 1,227 hectares land by offering compensation as well as water to about 40,000 acres, which otherwise would not be possible to it, by keeping the Medigadda barrage full reservoir level (FRL) at 103 meters. Or else, it could go down to 102 or 101 meters.
With the redesigning of projects reaching a decisive stage, works on Kaleshwaram lift component are expected to take off soon with calling of tenders with an estimated cost of Rs.13,600 crore is in the administrative process.