NGT removes stay on Rayalaseema lift irrigation project
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NGT removes stay on Rayalaseema lift irrigation project

Editor Water Today

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3 mins read

In a relief to the state government, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on July 13 removed the stay on the Rayalaseema lift irrigation scheme and gave the green signal for calling tenders for it. The NGT, however, directed the Centre to explain whether the project requires environmental clearances and the case has been posted to August 11.

This comes in the wake of the irrigation department contending that the proposed lift irrigation scheme is not new and it will not draw any additional quota of water from the Srisailam project. It has only made a few changes to the old design, it argued.

Moreover, the water resources department has readied a detailed blueprint to take up the Rayalaseema lift irrigation scheme without violating the tribunal’s awards and water sharing agreements with neighbouring Telangana.The Rayalaseema lift irrigation scheme is set to be a game-changer for the region as it aims to provide assured water to the entire 19 lakh acres in the four districts. So far, the partially-completed irrigation schemes could occasionally help irrigate about eight lakh acres while the remaining 11 lakh acres were left parched. The Rayalaseema lift irrigation scheme, when completed, will draw three TMC of water per day (up to 8tmc) from Sangameswaram and pump it into the Srisailam right main canal (SRMC).

While most of the schemes of Telangana such as Kalwakurthy LIS, Palamuru – Rangareddy LIS and Srisailam Left Power generation station are drawing water even when the level at Srisailam reservoir is at 800 ft and below to a total of 28,000 cusecs per day which is about 2.5 TMC of water per day, AP is drawing only 795 cusecs of water from Mutchumarri LIS that is not even 0.1 TMC per day at the same level.

The Rayalaseema lift irrigation scheme is set to be a game-changer for the region as it aims to provide assured water to the entire 19 lakh acres in the four districts. So far, the partially-completed irrigation schemes could occasionally help irrigate about eight lakh acres while the remaining 11 lakh acres were left parched. The Rayalaseema lift irrigation scheme, when completed, will draw three TMC of water per day (up to 8tmc) from Sangameswaram and pump it into the Srisailam right main canal (SRMC).

While most of the schemes of Telangana such as Kalwakurthy LIS, Palamuru – Rangareddy LIS and Srisailam Left Power generation station are drawing water even when the level at Srisailam reservoir is at 800 ft and below to a total of 28,000 cusecs per day which is about 2.5 TMC of water per day, AP is drawing only 795 cusecs of water from Mutchumarri LIS that is not even 0.1 TMC per day at the same level.

Although Srisailam received rainwater in six spells in 2019-20, nearly 600 TMC of water went unutilised into the sea due to poor infrastructure to store even 120 TMC o water in the Rayalaseema region. As per the agreement between AP and Telangana, the share of Rayalaseema in Krishna water is 144tmc from the total AP’s quota of 512 tmc. Telangana got 299 tmc.

Keeping in view of the perennial drought situation in Rayalaseema, chief minister Jaganmohan Reddy has directed the irrigation department to ramp up the existing infrastructure and draw water up to eight TMC per day. Hence, the designs have been readied to improve the discharge capacities of the canals and tap maximum water during the peak flood season.

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