HYDERABAD: It may take at least eight to 10 years for completion of Pranahita-Chevella project, once the works on the project start and would cost a whopping Rs 40,000 cr, officials said.
The project had been mired in controversy with regard to submergence of villages in Maharashtra. Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has reached an agreement with his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis a couple of days back and agreed to make some changes in the Pranahita-Chevella project design paving way for the works on the project to start early.
“Once, the construction works start, it will take eight to ten years for completion. According to the latest estimates, the project requires a whopping Rs 40,000 cr. The cost escalation will be more in the next ten years,’’ an irrigation department official said. According to official sources, the state government has agreed to decrease the height of the proposed barrage of Pranahita-Chevella at Tummuddi Hatti in Adilabad district from 152 to 150 metres. The decrease in barrage height will reduce the submergence area in Maharashtra.
Sources said the ruling party in Maharashtra, the BJP, during electioneering last year promised its voters that it will see that the submergence area in Maharashtra will be reduced.
At the same time, the TRS too assured voters that it will complete Pranahita-Chevella, if it comes to power.
As both the parties came to power, both the chief ministers have reached to an agreement at their recent meeting in Mumbai.
Chandrasekhar Rao complained that the design of Pranahita-Chevella prepared during combined Andhra Pradesh was not correct and he would explore alternative proposals.
Sources said during an agreement between Maharashtra and united AP government over Pranahita-Chevella in 2012, there was no mention about the height of the proposed barrage at Tummuddi Hatti.
The agreement then mentioned only utilising 160 tmc water of Pranahita. Thus, it became a inter-state problem, the TRS government noted.
In response to Fadnavis’s claim that the present design of Pranahita-Chevella would submerge land in 30 villages of Gadchirowli and Chandrapur districts, Rao has agreed to decrease the height of the proposed dam. Sources said that if the barrage is constructed at 150 metres they could store around 5.2 tmc. If the barrage height is 152 metres the storage will be around 6 tmc.
But, the officials were of the view that they could explore other technical options like cement lining or increasing the depth of the intake canal so that they could draw 160 tmc water in the proposed 90 days time. However, a final decision will be taken only after a jointing meeting of irrigation officials of both Maharashtra and Telangana states.