The Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project, to harness the flood waters of the Godavari, is aimed at making Telangana drought-proof. To be inaugurated by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday, the project seeks to divert 180 TMC of Godavari flood water first to Sripada Sagar Yellampalli barrage and then to Mallanna Sagar from the Pranahita confluence point.
The ₹80,500-crore engineering marvel is not only unique in terms of design, but also in size and scope.
Waters of the Godavari will be tapped by reverse pumping and storage, thereby facilitating agriculture on over 38 lakh acres, including creating about 18 lakh acres of new ayacut, helping rejuvenate thousands of tanks, providing water for industries, and supplying drinking water including to Hyderabad and Secunderabad by creating a series of storage tanks and a network of pipelines.
By construction of barrages and reservoirs and continuous pumping water is stored in the Godavari. This has saved the Government the hassles of land acquisition and re-settlement of people.
Barrages have been constructed at Medigadda, Annaram, and Sundilla, from which water will be moved to fill Yellampalli and Sriram Sagar Projects. With this, the Godavari will be alive on a 199-km stretch in Telangana.
In three years, major components of the Kaleshwaram project — construction of barrages and pump houses — have been completed and the construction of reservoirs are on fast-track. The world’s largest pumping station has been set up underground and has a 81-km tunnel running between Yellampalli barrage and Mallanna Sagar reservoir. The tunnel can carry 2 TMC water (22,000 cusecs) continuously.
The world’s biggest pump house in Package-8 with seven pumps of 139 MW each has been deployed underground, along with eight pumping stations located 150 metres underground. This pumping station has five floors with each floor housing lifting operations.
The project’s mega pumps and motors lift water 100-600 meters and carry it 400 km through the main canal. According to the project engineers, until now the Mubarak Pumping Station, built as part of the Toshka Project in Egypt in 2005 was an engineering wonder.
The Kaleshwaram project will support Mission Kakatiya and Mission Bhagiratha schemes designed to provide drinking water to many villages and improve the capacities of tanks.