Telangana lifeline Kaleshwaram Project sets records

Work in progress at Kannepalli Pump House of KLIP.

The multi-stage Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP) in Telangana is a massive project and statistics are mind-boggling. The Rs 90,000-crore project will require 4,300 MW of power every day to pump water at different stages to irrigate 37 lakh acres in 15 districts of the state. The project envisages diversion of 180 tmc water from Godavari-Pranahita to Yellampally, then to mid Maneru to Mallannasagar and other reservoirs. The project also aims to provide drinking water to Hyderabad city.

The Ramadugu pump house, one of the four stages (Ramadugu, Medaram, Annaram and Sundilla) of the project, considered to be the biggest in Asia, will have seven pumps each with 140 MW capacity. 

According to an official, each of the pumps, manufactured by the BHEL,  can fill the Hussain Sagar Lake in Hyderabad city in just a couple of days. If switched on at the same time, the seven pumps together can discharge 21,000 cusecs of water.

 According to the Telangana Transmission Corporation, 4,300 MW of power is required to operate all the pumps of KLIP at once and the annual power bill could be anywhere between Rs 7,000 crore and Rs 11,000 crore.

The corporation has submitted a comprehensive report to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao stating that 11,500 MW of power would be required  for lift irrigation projects such as Saleswomen, Palamuru and Sitarama projects. The Generation Corporation (Genco) has set a target of 27,000 MW power generation by 2020.

Telangana Transco has estimated that Rs 6,000 crore will be required to establish supply network alone.  The CM says that by 2020 the state budget will cross Rs 2 lakh crore and spending Rs 10,000 crore and free power to farmers will not be a problem.

Recently, KLIP set an Asia record by completing 7,000 cubic metres of concrete work in a single day. Construction major Larsen and Toubro says  that it has set the record at the Medigadda barrage. On the same day over 20,437 cubic metres of concrete work was completed in all barrages and pump houses of the project, consuming 52,820 bags of cement.

Earlier known as Pranahitha-Chevella project, the Telangana government changed its name as Kaleshwaram after it has redesigned several projects undertaken during the rule of undivided state of Andhra Pradesh. “Initially it was designed to build a barrage at Tummidihatti. As it would have submerged more land in neighbouring Maharashtra, Medigadda was chosen,” project in-charge Prakash said.

The project begins at Medigadda, downstream the confluence of Godavari and Pranahitha rivers. The Medigadda barrage has a capacity to store 16.17 tmc water. The barrage will have 85 gates to release 28.25 lakh cusecs of flood water downstream. The fabrication work of the gates is going on at the project site and the work on the barrage is likely to be completed by the end of 2018, and water can be lifted from the barrage by July 2019.

The Medigadda stage with 11 of its 40 MW capacity pumps from Finland and Austria can lift 3 tmc of water every day. Also known as Konepally Pump House, it lifts water up to one km and then from the cistern takes water to Annaram through gravity covering a distance of 13.2 km. 

To complete digging work for the canal and construction of 29 structures, including 5 bridges that help wild animals to move across the canal, 1.80 crore cubic metres of soil had to be dug up. Out of this massive excavation work, 1.20 crore cubic metres work has been completed. Engineers hope that the excavation work of canal, which will look like a river, itself will be over by July.

Annaram barrage, one of the three barrages under construction to divert water from Medigadda to Yellampally is almost ready. Work on this 10.87 tmc capacity barrage is nearing completion. The Annaram barrage will have 66 gates out of which 36 gates are ready. Once the water reaches Annaram barrage it will be lifted to Sundilla barrage which will have 51 gates. In all, eight pumps will be installed here to lift 3 tmc water.

Efforts have been made to set up at least four pumps within a few months to allow partial lifting of water to Sundilla. Water will then be taken from the delivery cistern through 11 pipes, according to B Srinivasa Reddy of Mega Engineering Company.

At Sundilla, work on pump house is going on a warfooting to lift water in July to facilitate irrigation of kharif crops. Nine pumps from this site will have to pump water to Sripada Yellampally project.

Very crucial step of the project lies between Yellampally and mid Maneru. Work on the crucial Laxmipur underground pump house that lifts water to a level of 140 feet and an electrical substation is underway. Navayuga Constructions, which is overseeing the work, is confident of finishing the work in time. 

“The Telangana government has spent Rs 25,000 crore within two years and it is a record of sorts,” Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao says. The minister, who camps at the project site two days every week, hopes that water will be released for this kharif, fulfilling the dreams of farmers.

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Telangana lifeline Kaleshwaram Project sets records

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