Keshavapuram project on backburner until Assembly polls

HYDERABAD: It has been two years since the Telangana state government granted administrative sanction to a private agency to construct the Keshavapuram Reservoir Project, and it has not moved an inch since.

Though the Municipal Administration and Urban Development (MA&UD) announced on several occasions that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao would lay the foundation for the project, which will ensure assured and reliable water supply to Greater Hyderabad at least until 2050, the nodal agency, the
Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB), has yet to complete the land acquisition process. Despite the fact that authorities
claimed to have completed 90% of the land acquisition process, the project's
status has remained unchanged since February 2020.

According to sources, tenders have been finalised and a work order has been
issued to Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Limited (MEIL). To reduce
land acquisition in private properties, the government has already redesigned the project, reducing the storage capacity at Keshavapuram to 5 TMC. The remaining 5 TMC will be drawn directly from Kondapochamma Sagar to Ganpur. The design of the project would save the compensation of 850 acres
of private land.

The project's estimated cost has been reduced from Rs 4,777.59 crore in 2017
to Rs 4,369.37 crore by 2021. The project's key components include the construction of a clear water reservoir and a pump house, the laying of inlet mains from Kondapochamma Sagar to the proposed reservoir, the construction of a sump-cum-pump house, the procurement of raw water pumps
and motors, the substation, and the installation.

According to officials, in February 2020, 682 hectares of land have been identified for the construction of the project, with 409 hectares falling under reserve forest. The HMWSSB has acquired over 90% of the required land
in collaboration with the revenue and forest departments, as well as district collectors, and the remaining land is being acquired. When the land acquisition process is completed, the site will be handed over to the agency to begin construction work within 15 days.

However, officials who requested anonymity told Deccan Chronicle that the
project is currently on hold due to land acquisition issues. Authorities stated that, while the government may lay the foundation stone sooner, the project will not be abandoned and will be used as a poll agenda for Assembly elections in 2023. Revenue officials have been unable to reach an agreement with farmers and private landowners to ground the project on time. "The land acquisition will not be completed because the land owners demand land for land in addition to monetary compensation," said a senior MA&UD official.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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