Hyderabad : River Godavari in Telangana has come alive, brimming with water over a stretch of 150 km between Medigadda and Yellampalli, thanks to the Kaleshwaram project. And the day is not far when another 100 km of the river will see water round the year once work on Dummagudem and Tupakulagudem barrages is completed, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao said on Tuesday..
“This will mean round the year water availability in the river over 250 km of its course in Telangana,” a visibly elated Chief Minister told reporters at Dharmapuri at the end of his tour of the project. “There was a time when Godavari used to run dry. Today, I am filled with great joy seeing the river flush with water,” he said. The Chief Minister said despite some obstructionist political forces who filed more than 300 cases against the project and the Centre not giving even a single rupee for Kaleshwaram, it had turned into a reality. CM resolute “We got all the permissions required and spent our funds. Meanwhile, Devadula is already being used and the barrage work is completed, and it will come fully on stream. The TRS government will irrigate 1.20 crore acres with Kaleshwaram and other projects,” he said. “As long as I am alive, I will never let anything adverse happen to Telangana. These are not tall and empty claims. Kaleshwaram is there for all to see. Drinking water supply from Mission Bhagiratha, the welfare measures and Mission Kakatiya are there for all to see,” Chandrashekhar Rao said. Once the Tupakulagudem barrage (Devadula) is also completed, it will store seven tmcft of water and when the Dummagudem barrage under Sitarama Lift Irrigation Scheme is ready, it will store 30 tmcft of water. These two will add 100 km to the river which will have water round the year, he said. “And with 250 km of water over its course, Godavari will be ready to take care of its children in Telangana,” Chandrashekhar Rao added. Initial doubts Recalling the early days, the Chief Minister said that despite Kaleshwaram project being planned very carefully and he himself redesigning it to the very last detail, “even I had some doubts in the beginning about how it might be executed.” He then said: “That is why today, I visited the project along with the Finance Principal Secretary, and senior officials to inspect it. We wanted to check whether the plans were executed as expected. The results are even better than we hoped.” Chandrashekhar Rao recalled that every time he was at the river and crossing it, he would look for a sliver of water into which he could drop coins and seek the river’s blessings and prayer for it to ‘come to Telangana’. “There is probably no one else who offered as many coins as I have,” he said. KCR hits out at Kaleshwaram critics Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Tuesday dismissed critics of Kaleshwaram project saying such people were speaking without any understanding of what the project was all about and how it was designed to function. “Some of them have been hanging on to the allegation that a lot of money is being wasted to pump water at the project barrages. Others have been saying the government was wasting water,” he said. “They do not understand the basic fact that Kaleshwaram project is aimed at lifting water from Medigadda back into Godavari only when the river does not have enough water,” he said. Decades of data shows that only once in four or five years, the river comes into flood and water comes to Yellampalli reservoir. “When this happens, we will not be lifting water from Medigadda. Water in such years will flow from Sri Ram Sagar Project’s Flood Flow Canal to Mid-Manair dam,” he said. “We will be lifting a total of 400 tmcft of water in the years when the river is not in flood and water does not reach SRSP or Yellampalli. The power bill for this comes to Rs 4,992 crore,” he said. Chandrashekhar Rao added: “They portray this as if it is the end of the world. These are comments made without giving any thought to the needs of the State, irrigation, and drinking water requirements, which Kaleshwaram will fulfil.” He said this was “an intelligent project with multiple benefits. It is time that the media reports the facts correctly and clearly.”.