Water level in Sri Ram Sagar Project hits dead storage

Water level in Sri Ram Sagar Project hits dead storage
Highlights

The Sri Ram Sagar Project (SRSP) which is the lifeline of North Telangana, is facing an uncertain future now. The project has hit the dead storage level in the beginning of summer itself this time. The water level in the project stands at 1,047.6 ft (5 tmc) now as against its full reservoir capacity of 1,091 ft (90 tmc). 

Nizamabad: The Sri Ram Sagar Project (SRSP) which is the lifeline of North Telangana, is facing an uncertain future now. The project has hit the dead storage level in the beginning of summer itself this time. The water level in the project stands at 1,047.6 ft (5 tmc) now as against its full reservoir capacity of 1,091 ft (90 tmc).

  • ‘Illegal’ projects in Maharashtra hits inflows
  • Accumulation of silt reduces storage capacity
  • Urgent steps for project revival needed

Speaking to The Hans India on Friday, Iirrigation Department Divisional Engineer Jagadish, the project recorded a water level of 1,057.59 ft (17.51 tmc) on April 6, 2015 which means the situation is even worse this year. The North Telangana is likely to face a severe drinking water crisis in the coming months if there is no early rainfall this season.

The pathetic situation is largely attributed to lack of inflows from upstream due to 12 `illegal' irrigation projects taken up by the Maharashtra Government across Godavari, including Babli, in violation of the guidelines of the Central Water Commission (CWC) for river water sharing among riparian states.

Large scale accumulation of silt in the project is another reason for the rapid decline in its storage capacity. The development of the project was also neglected by the successive governments in undivided Andhra Pradesh. Maharashtra did not release water from Babli in the first week of March this year as per the directive of the Apex court which resulted in further decline in its storage level, said an irrigation official.

A survey conducted in 2014 revealed that the storage capacity of the project declined to 80 tmc due to large scale accumulation of silt. Urgent measures have to be taken to protect the project keeping in view the irrigation and drinking needs of Nizamabad, Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam districts.

According to one version, the desiltation works cost more than the execution of a new irrigation project. The proposals for the project desiltation are still on paper. The foundation stone for the irrigation project across River Godavari at Pochampad village in Balkonda mandal in the district was laid by the country’s first Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru on July 26, 1962.

The project was completed at a cost of Rs 1,600 crore and it was inaugurated by the then Chief Minister Marri Channa Reddy in 1978. In all, 91 villages got submerged under the project. According to an estimate, the project costs Rs 3,500 crore now. The SRSP is envisaged to irrigate 18 lakh acres in five districts of North Telangana, besides meeting drinking needs of hundreds of villages.

Water for irrigation purpose is being supplied to the command area of the project through Saraswathi Canal, Lakshmi Canal and Kakatiya Canal. It is also meeting the water needs of NTPC power plants. The total command area of the SRSP has come down to 9.61 lakh acres due to accumulation of silt and lack of adequate inflows from the upstream.

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