Kaleshwaram project has low benefit-cost ratio: irrigation expert

Redesigned or not, materialisation of the Rs.83,000-crore Kaleshwaram (earlier Pranahitha-Chevella) project which is projected to irrigate more than 20 lakh acres of land in the State, would provide water only for one crop in a year, that too for irrigated-dry (ID) crops which otherwise are rain-fed.

The point came out during discussion after a presentation by retired Engineer-in-Chief T. Hanumantha Rao, at a seminar on ‘Alternative Proposals and New Technology’ in the context of redesigning of the Pranahitha-Chevella project, on Friday.

Addressing a packed hall featuring who’s who of the State Opposition leaders, Mr. Hanumantha Rao admitted that the benefit-cost ratio of the project at the present cost is very low, which makes it highly unviable.

However, within the limited scope of technicalities, he complimented the government for choosing Medigadda for barrage, as more water is available at the location. Nevertheless, pumping cost from Medigadda could be reduced with redesigning of the head sluice at Thummidihatti, to draw as much water as possible there itself through widening and deepening of canals.

As per his analysis, the disputes over project height are not needed, as only 120 tmcft water is divertible at Thummidihatti, and additional water availability at 152 metres is very negligible.

He also proposed four barrages from Medigadda to Yellampally instead of two, which could turn the river into a reservoir. Reverse pumping facilities at all the barrages, and navigation too are proposed by him. Further, pipeline transfer through pumping from the reservoirs at Pamulaparthi and Tadakapalli may be done away with to avoid loss from evaporation and deep percolation. Instead, 11 barrages could be built between Yellampally and Sriramsagar Project before transfer to Manjeera, four more barrages up to Nizamsagar, and eight more to Singur.

Another suggestion was to convert into reservoir, the whole distance between Thummidihatti and Yellampally, instead of digging a canal. Congress MLA T.Jeevan Reddy proposed construction of flood banks to avoid submergence, which, Mr.Rao said, requires lot of care and determination.

Justice B. Chandrakumar chaired the session, while MLA N. Bhaskar Rao, TPCC chief N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, V. Pratap Reddy from the TDP, CPI central committee member K. Narayana and State secretary Chada Venkata Reddy, CPI(M) State secretary Tammineni Veerabhadram, and Vemula Venkatramaiah from CPI(ML) New Democracy were other leaders present.

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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 12:22:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/kaleshwaram-project-has-low-benefitcost-ratio-irrigation-expert/article8457435.ece

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