Khammam: To meet the ever-increasing demand for water for irrigation, the state government is increasing the capacity of ongoing irrigation projects. The Godavari river has been identified as one of the major sources of water to satisfy the needs of Telangana.
The capacity of the Sitarama Lift Irrigation Project has been enhanced from 50,000 million cubic feet to 70.4 tmc ft. The area which the dam will irrigate, spread across the districts of Khammam, Bhadradri-Kothagudem and Mahbubabad, has increased from 5.48 lakh acres to 9.36 lakh acres.
Khammam and Bhadrachalam districts are the major beneficiaries of the redesign. About 7 lakh acres across the two districts will be irrigated as per the revised designs.
The Sitarama project is considered to be one of the key irrigation projects because there is plenty of water available in the Godavari.
The state has enough power to be allocated to the lifting of water from the river. The government aims at to supply water from the project to irrigate at least one lakh acres of land by the Kharif season of 2018.
An Expert Appraisal Committee met in Delhi and granted permission for the increase in project capacity. With this, the cost of the project has increased to Rs 9,000 crore.
The first phase of the project will be broken down into eight packages. The length of the main canal is 39.9 km, and the tender process for its construction has been completed.
The first package, that involves the construction of 10.8 km of the main canal, will cost Rs 1,446 crore.
Around 22 km of the canal will be constructed in the second package, and 7 km in the third.
The government does not wish to publicise the increase in capacity out of fear of eliciting complaints from other states. They say that Telangana has no option but to lift water from the Godavari, which is what it is doing.