K. Chandrashekar Rao, the Chief Minister of Telangana, on the 17th of May, conducted a high level meeting to discuss the usage of the Godavari River water.
During the meeting organised to discuss strategies of utilisation of Godavari River, KCR directed officials to expedite construction of distributory network of all irrigation projects to facilitate filling of village tanks for the monsoon and better overall irrigation management.
Mr. Rao directed officials concerned to use technology and for the effective use of the water, once pumping begins during the monsoon. He also emphasised on the need to fill all village tanks and ponds soon after releasing water from irrigation projects. He also asked the concerned irrigation officials to monitor flood levels and fill the Sri Ram Sagar Project with water lifted from the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation system. This strategy and water utilisation would help 16.41 lakh acres of land to be irrigated with the help of the Godavari water.
Mr. Rao said, “Farmers must be encouraged to take fertile soil from tank beds to use it in their farm lands and improve land fertility. As it will help us in desiltation of tanks, the officials should not impose any restrictions.”
Mr. Rao further asked the Irrigation and Agriculture department to conduct a meeting in a couple of days and discuss the hurdles in the process. In addition, a committee of Engineers-in-Chief was asked to submit a report on the feasibility of increasing the capacity of existing canals or constructing a parallel canal for supplying water from Lower Manair Dam to downstream areas.
Mr. Rao also asked the officials and engineers to complete the remaining work of the Kaleshwaram project, increasing the water lifting capacity from current 2 tmc to 3 tmc. Besides this, other works related to Gowdavelly Lift Scheme and Sammakka Barrage would also be completed by this monsoon.
In addition, the officials would also release water from Thotapalli canal to 77,000 acres and water from Devadula project to tanks within the catchment area throughout the year.
Mr. Rao said, “Lands procured for irrigation projects are being illegally occupied by land grabbers in some locations in the State. He emphasised the need to remove illegal constructions encroaching the canal banks in urban areas immediately.” He further added, “We have constructed several irrigation projects of different sizes after (a) lot of efforts. It is equally important to safeguard them. The officials should come up with (an) operation and maintenance manual for each project separately which will enable the government to make necessary budget allocations and release funds.”
The meeting was attended by State ministers like K.T. Rama Rao, Etela Rajender, Errabelli Dayakar Rao, Jagadish Reddy, Prashanth Reddy, Indrakaran Reddy, Gangula Kamalakar, Niranjan Reddy and Satyavathi Rathod.
Others who participated in the meeting were Palla Rajeshwar Reddy, the State President of the Rythu Bandhu Samithi, Rajat Kumar, the Principal secretary to Irrigation, the Chief Minister Office (CMO) Secretary Smita Sabharwal and Officer on Special Duty (OSD) Sridhar Deshpande.
Engineers in Chief like Muralidhar Rao, Nagender Rao, Anil Kumar and Venkateswarlu, Hariram and Chief Engineers like Shankar, Bangaraiah, Madhusudhan Rao and the Project Administrator Sudhakar Reddy were also present during the meeting.
The meeting was held on the 17th of May, at Pragati Bhavan, Hyderabad, Telangana.