In a major step forward for Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme, the expert appraisal committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF) has agreed to issue terms of reference (ToR) for project appraisal as part of the procedure for environmental clearance.
The expert panel that met in New Delhi on Friday discussed in detail the proposal submitted by the project proponent. Chief Engineer of the project V. Linga Raju also gave a presentation before the committee and explained the plans in terms of environmental issues.
Mr. Linga Raju stated that the environmental impact assessment study and environmental management plan as part of the procedure for environmental clearance would be taken up after the approval of the ToR. The impact assessment study in the project area and preparation of environmental management plan would take about 6 months to 9 months, he explained.
According to the irrigation department officials, the project envisages lifting 90 TMC ft of flood waters at the rate of 1.5 TMC per day for 60 days from the foreshores of Srisailam reservoir at Yellur in Kollapur mandal of Nagarkurnool district. The water drawn would be lifted to reservoir planned at Laxmidevipally, the highest elevation point for erstwhile Mahabubnagar and Rangareddy districts with five-stage lifting. From there water is utilised by gravity.
Before redesigning of the project, it was planned to lift water from Jurala reservoir project to irrigate 10 lakh acres land. However, it involved large scale submergence – 16,342 houses in 47 villages and over 84,000 population getting affected.
The redesigned project plans to irrigate 12.3 lakh acres including 7 lakh acres in erstwhile Mahabubnagar, 5 lakh acres in Rangareddy and 0.3 lakh in Nalgonda district, benefiting a total of 1,131 villages in 72 mandals for irrigation and drinking needs. It would displace only three villages and 20 thandas having 2,781 houses and the total area of submergence would be 49,000 acres including the forest area and government lands.
The redesigned project comprises reservoirs at Narlapur (8.51 TMC ft), Yedula (6.55), Vattem (16.74), Karivena (17.34), Uddandapur (15.91) and Laxmidevipally (2.8 TMC ft). The estimated cost of the project is Rs.35.200 crore.
The Chief Engineer stated that main conduit works from Narlapur to Uddandapur were taken up for drinking water supply to the villages en route and Hyderabad, for which environmental clearance was not required. The ToR for appraisal of the project is for irrigation components, he added.