HYDERABAD: In a record 13 months time, Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS) has been accorded the technical advisory committee’s (TAC) clearance on Wednesday.The clearance of the technical advisory committee of the Central Water Commission, is the last approval due for the mega irrigation project. “We are happy and extremely satisfied with Kaleshwaram getting TAC nod.
This is the first project in Telangana to get TAC approval,” Chief Secretary SK Joshi, who is also holding the charge of special chief secretary (Irrigation), told Express after the CWC meeting. Joshi has been trying to get clearances for the project, since both Maharashtra and Telangana have singed a pact in 2016.
It may be recalled that the then YS Rajasekhara Reddy government started Pranahitha-Chevella project in 2009 and no major clearances were obtained for the same till 2014.
The TAC meeting held under the chairmanship of Union Water Resources Ministry secretary UP Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday accorded permission to Kaleshwaram project. Telangana engineer-in-chief C Muralidhar Rao and Kaleshwaram chief engineer B Hariram explained the progress of Kaleshwaram works, especially the link-1 and link-2 works, through powerpoint presentation at the meeting. Later, the TAC unanimously resolved to accord technical clearance to the project, official sources said.
Kaleshwaram had already obtained nine clearances so far and the State government is expecting TAC clearance, the last one required. “TAC clearance is not mandatory for the construction of the project,” according to official sources. “We got all the clearances from the CWC except investment clearance,” official sources said. The investment clearance was required for the government to raise funds and it is not mandatory for the construction of the project. However, the engineer-in-chief Muralidhar Rao said that they were expecting investment clearance too at the earliest.
It may be recalled that when Pranahitha-Chevella project conceived by the combined AP government landed in inter-state controversies, the TRS government redesigned the project, to tap Godavari water at Medigadda and proposed Kaleshwaram project. The pact between Telangana and Maharashtra was signed in August, 2016. The State government prepared the final designs and approached the Centre for the required clearances.
The first clearance was obtained on March 31, 2017, as the Centre accorded ToR for environmental clearance. From March, 2017 till date the project got ten other approvals in a short span of time. “This is a record of sorts for any irrigation project,” according to irrigation experts. “Though, the Opposition Congress party filed 197 cases against Kaleshwaram and also created ruckus at public hearings, they could not stop the construction of the project,” a ruling TRS leader commented.
Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao thanked Union Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari for according clearance and congratulated Chief Secretary SK Joshi and other officials for getting the clearances in a record time.