HYDERABAD: The wait for completion of the Keshavapuram reservoir has got longer. Though the state government has allowed 409.53 hectares of forest land to be used for construction of the reservoir, the Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWS&SB) officials say acquiring revenue land has become troublesome.
As a result, they will start works for constructing the reservoir on the available land within 15 days. Tenders have been finalised and work order has been to Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Limited (MEIL).
According to highly placed sources in the Water Board, though the Centre has given its nod for usage of the 409.53 hectares of forest land, construction of the reservoir could take at least three years owing to paucity of funds and the time being taken in the acquisition of revenue lands.
The project was redesigned to minimise acquisition of private lands by 850 acres, though it will lead to a decrease in storage capacity of Keshavapuram reservoir by 5 TMC ft which is being made up by means of an additional pipeline. The estimated cost of the project has reduced from Rs 4,777.59 crore in 2017 to Rs 4,369.37 crore. However, 490 acres of revenue land is yet to be acquired.
A senior Water Board official, requesting anonymity, said the acquisition process is in an advanced stage. Most land owners have been given cheques for acquiring their lands. Once the remaining land owners owning about 150 acres of land are also paid, the water board can take possession of their lands and start construction of the reservoir. The official claimed the entire process will take another two weeks.
The Water Board had earlier decided to draw 30 TMC ft water for the city from the Godavari River to meet the city’s drinking water needs.
Accordingly, the Water Board planned to draw 10 TMC ft from Yellampalli Barrage. It decided to draw the balance 20 TMC ft from Kondapochammasagar at Pamulaparthy village. However, this would involve huge recurring power costs.
As a result, the government suggested formulation of a scheme to draw 10 tmc ft each in two phases, provided it included inflows to the proposed reservoir in the gravity mode from Kondapochammasagar. This has led to redesigning of the project, which, however, has reduced the capacity of Keshavapuram reservoir to 5.04 tmc ft and constructing a pipeline from Kondapochammasagar adjacent to the Godavari pipeline. The MA&UD department has also released GO No 129 dated February 29, 2020, in this regard.