Pranahita Chevella lift irrigation scheme
||This article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject. (March 2012)|
The foundation stone was laid by the then Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy in 2007.
Signing of an agreement by Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra to implement the Rs. 38,500-crore mega project of Pranahita-Chevella at Delhi in the presence of Chief Ministers of both States will open a new chapter with regard to utilisation of water in the Godavari basin.
Maharashtra's willingness not only to allow the construction of the project but also to participate in it comes as a big relief to Andhra Pradesh in the light of its legal battle against “illegal” construction of Babli Project and 11 other barrages across the Godavari, which threatens to curtail inflows to Sriram Sagar Project.
The agreement culminates five years of correspondence held by Irrigation officials with their Maharashtra counterparts, particularly with E.B. Patil, Principal Secretary, Water Resources, undaunted by the continued litigation over Babli.
Speaking to this correspondent, these officials described the understanding reached between the two neighbouring States as an “historic development” in inter-State cooperation, saying this will pave way for implementation of other projects like Lendi, lower Penganga and Inchampalli.
Mr Patil is said to have a played a key role along with Adityanath Das, his counterpart here, in preparing the ground.
Andhra Pradesh has so far spent Rs 1,600 crore on various packages of the project, which was designed by a group of Telangana expert-engineers to utilise 160 Tmcft of Pranahita water and serve 16.4 lakh acres in the water scarcity areas of Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal, Nizamabad, Medak, Nalgonda and Ranga Reddy districts.
This huge investment would have been a waste if Maharashtra had opposed to it. Maharashtra's consent is seen crucial because the barrage required for the project to divert Pranahita waters will have to be built in its territory also. The water from this barrage will be transferred into the reservoir of the Yellampalli project already constructed across the Godavari, before being released to the intended areas, including Hyderabad city (30 tmcft) for drinking purpose. Maharashtra is also beneficiary by drawing water from the left bank of the barrage for irrigation, etc.
Pranahita-Chevella is the costliest of Jalayagnam projects requiring 3,466 MW of power & annual electricity of 7.5 billion KWhr with 530 meters average pumping head and yet, the then Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy had readily approved, engineers recall. The initial 296 meters pumping head up to Middle Manair reservoir can be saved if it is possible to divert water from Sriramsagar reservoir whose water availability /inflows could be enhanced to 250 tmc when Maharashtra and Karnataka do not over use the Godavari water in excess of their water use entitlements.
The agreement will provide for constitution of three committees, one of them with Chief Ministers of the two States to oversee the implementation of the project. "