Hyderabad: In a big shot in the arm for Telangana state, the Centre has given final clearance to the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project, the biggest in the country.
At a meeting of Central Water Commission Wednesday, all obstacles in the way of the project were cleared as the technical advisory committee of the Water Resources Department granted the forest, environmental and all other clearances.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and the irrigation minister T Harish Rao expressed their happiness over the development and thanked the Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari.
In a record of sorts the Kaleshwaram project across River Godavari has secured all the necessary clearances in the shortest period of time. State government officials said the project secured the first and second phase forest clearances and the crucial hydrology clearance and now the centre has given the environmental clearance. Officials said Kaleshwaram was the only project to secure the environmental clearance within a year.
Officials said it will go a long way in the expeditious completion of the project with many unique features.
The biggest lift irrigation project in the country envisages to store 148 TMC ft of water and utilise 180 TMC ft of flood water by lifting 2 TMC ft every day during the 90 flood days. The project will irrigate 1.85 million acres of land in the north Telangana districts of Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Warangal, Medak, Nalgonda and Ranga Reddy district. The project was estimated to cost Rs800 billion (Dh43.91 billion), officials said.
Another unique feature of the project is the longest tunnel in Asia of 81km between Yellampally and Mallannasagar dams. To lift the water the project will utilise 139MW pump, the highest capacity pump to be deployed in any project in the country.