Execution of irrigation projects and canals is not new but interlinking river basins and sub-basins within a state is certainly laudable. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao recently launched a reverse link that connects Godavari river to one of its tributaries, Manjeera, through a canal. The Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project involving several barrages, aqueducts, tunnels—all to lift hundreds of tmcft of water from Godavari to bring irrigation to lakhs of acres in almost the entire North Telangana region—has crossed another milestone.
The Godavari waters from Kondapochamma reservoir of the Kaleshwaram scheme is now flowing into its tributary Manjeera via Haldivagu, a local stream. The water in Manjeera is on its way to Nizamsagar to fill it up. The Nizamsagar project, built in 1923 by Mir Osman Ali Khan, the then Nizam of Hyderabad, has over a period of time fallen on bad days since no water has been flowing into it for decades. This is on account of a number of projects that have come up on the Manjeera in upstream Karnataka, drying it up completely. But now it is going to acquire a new lease of life, with water coursing through Haldivagu-Manjeera and finally gushing into Nizamsagar after filling several tanks and check dams enroute. It is a great relief to farmers whose lands along Haldivagu and Manjeera have been crying for water for decades. Thanks to this project, waters from the same river are drawn from downstream where it is abundant and taken in the reverse direction, finally joining the main river upstream.
The Kaleshwaram scheme, touted as the largest multi-stage lift irrigation project in the world, is an innovation by itself as it lifts water from Godavari from a depth of 250 ft in Medigadda in Peddapalli district and after pumping at different places, the water finally is delivered at Kondapochamma reservoir after traversing a gradient of 618 m MSL. The project, conceived by KCR, is continuing to quench the thirst of Telangana’s parched lands.