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How Telangana Gave Boost To Its Irrigation Sector

Before the state's formation, Telangana's Irrigation sector was in a dismal state. After the formation of the state in 2014, the government made bold moves to boost the irrigation sector. In the last 7 years, the total spend on Irrigation has seen an increase of a whopping Rs.1,52,000 crores.

How Did Telangana Improve Its Irrigation Facilities?

Leading from the front, the Chief Minister held brainstorming sessions, to strategise the speedy completion of ongoing projects, as well as the radical modernisation of older projects. All these projects got a new lease of life.  The Government adopted a multi-pronged approach to drastically scale up the irrigation coverage, keeping the urgent needs of the state in mind. Audacious plans for redesigning and re-engineering of irrigation projects were carried out.

Here are some plans undertaken to scale up the state's irrigation:

Palamuru-Rangareddy Scheme: It envisages lifting water in five stages through pumping from the foreshore of Srisailam Reservoir near Yellur village of Kollapurmandal in Nagarkurnool district. The project is envisaged to create irrigation potential in upland areas of Nagarkurnool, Mahabubnagar, Vikarabad, Narayanapet, Rangareddy and Nalgonda districts, for an ayacut of 12.30 lakh acres. This is a long pending demand and dream of drought areas of the Districts.

- Sita Rama Lift Irrigation Projects: This Project aims to divert Godavari river water to irrigate 6.74 lakh acres of land in three districts of Bhadradri Kothagudem, Khammam and Mahabubabad districts of Telangana. Similar other projects undertaken include Devadula Lift Irrigation Scheme and Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme.

Kaleshwaram Multistage Lift Irrigation Scheme is the world's largest lift irrigation project. An innovatively designed massive project to lift the allocated Godavari waters from an elevation of 90 meters to 618 meters, reaching some of Telangana's most parched lands.

Kaleshwaram Multistage Lift Irrigation Scheme is a ‘mission impossible' achieved by the Telangana Government, with 3 Barrages across Godavari River,  20 mega volume water lifts,

21 pump houses, 18 reservoirs and a network of tunnels, pipelines and canals, nearly 1832 kms long. All these have been completed in a record time of just 36 months. This project would utilize the waters of Godavari which are going waste into the sea since long.

According to Hon'ble Chief Minister, K. Chandrashekar Rao, “This project is going to cater to 45 lakh acres and it will be giving water for two crops. That means 90 lakh acres will be producing gold out of the land.”

Simultaneously, the government has also launched Mission Kakatiya – bringing a novel solution from the 11 century Kakatiya Dynasty into the 21st century to restore minor irrigation tanks and water bodies. Out of total 46531 existing tanks in the state, about 27625 tanks were desilted and restored with an investment of Rs. 5,000 crore rupees.

Mission Kakatiya is designed to transform Telangana's groundwater levels, ensure water reaches every cultivable part of the state and overall rural economy gets a boost.

Thanks to the single minded focus on the irrigation sector, the gross irrigation area has increased by 45 per cent from 2014 to 2021.

In last the seven years due to the above relentless efforts, from being one of India's most deprived states Telangana has developed into top-performer on the national stage, NITI Aayog and Reserve Bank of India acknowledge Telangana as a top economic performer. Telangana has also become India's top performing state in UN Sustainable Development Goals. According to the government, this turnaround has been made possible because of the empowering schemes and people-friendly administration that have proved to be a winning combination for the state.  

With improvements in all sectors including Irrigation, Telangana's per capita income rose from Rs. 1.24 lakh in 2014-15 to Rs. 2.78 lakhs in 2021-22 and Gross Domestic Product of Telangana (GDP) increased by 128 per cent from Rs. 5.06 lakh crore in 2014-15 to Rs. 11.55 lakh crore in 2021-22. This sustained effort is programmed to continue in future also till all the allocated waters of Telangana state are utilized fully.

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