A project in Telangana which is designed to bring drinking water and crop-rinsing with water to its very dry areas has run into troubles with land purchase and charges of cost increase.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) stayed the project in October after farmer Mohd Hayathuddin from Vemulaghat in Siddipet district moved the tribunal. The state has challenged the order in the high court.
On 30 October, the Central Water Commission (CWC) issued the hydrology clearance for the project. A week before that on 24 October, it also received the stage one forest clearance from the union environment ministry.
Sridhar Rao Deshpande, officer on special duty (from the crop-watering/rinsing with water department) to Telangana crop-watering/rinsing with water minister T. Harish Rao, said a total of 225 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) is to be drawn through the project. This includes 180 TMC from the Godavari river (bowl/area drained by a river) and the rest through other projects. The project, which will involve building holding tanks (or areas) at different places, is expected to irrigate 18.24 lakh (areas of land about 200 feet X 220 feet), provide 56 TMC of drinking water and another 10 TMC for industrial purposes.
The Kaleshwaram project‘s work has been split into 7 parts or links. “So far, about Rs20,000 crore has been spent, and we are expecting to draw water from . link-2 (out of 7) from coming June. Trial runs are expected to begin from January onwards,” Deshpande told.
Another official, who spoke on condition of, said 74,315 acres is needed for the project, of which 34,410 acres have been bought. “The arguments on the NGT stay in the high court are done. We are expecting a judgment in a day or two,” this official added.