HYDERABAD/ADILABAD: Two historical irrigation structures of Telangana have become the first entrants from India into the register of World Heritage Irrigation Structures (WHIS), maintained by the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID). Sadarmatt anicut in Nirmal district and Pedda Cheruvu irrigation tank in Kamareddy district were included in the WHIS register last month.
These two were among 14 irrigation structures added to the list during the 69th International Executive Council (IEC) of ICID, held in Saskatoon, Canada. The information was conveyed recently to irrigation department of Telangana by the Central Water Commission (CWC). The irrigation structures from a bygone era continue to provide water to millions. Sadarmatt anicut was constructed across the Godavari River by French engineer JJ Ottley in 1891-92.
It is located in the downstream of the Sriram Sagar irrigation project at Khanapur mandal.
“The original purpose of the dam was to provide water for irrigation across 6,000 acres,” says B Nagendra Rao, chief engineer with the Irrigation Department. “However, improvements were made later and the anicut now covers 13,100 acres.” Even the gates of the anicut, constructed 130 years ago, are still operational!
Pedda Cheruvu, meanwhile, was built 3-4 centuries ago by rulers of Domakonda Samsthanam, points out another irrigation department official. Its age has, however, not diminished its efficiency as it still serves as an important drinking water source for Kamareddy town. “This is the first time such an exercise has been taken up,” says Rao. The government will have to provide documentary information apart from filling out a form in the prescribed format.
“There are many more such structures, of even richer heritage value in Telangana. With the State government taking active interest in sending names of such structures to ICID, we plan to identify more such projects,” adds Rao.
Nations take pride in irrigation structures
The WHIS register of ICID has 74 heritage irrigation structures listed now, of which the highest number of structures are from Japan(35). Pakistan (1) and Sri Lanka (2) also feature in the list.