Former Irrigation Minister Harish Rao inspecting the project works (file photo) Below: Brahmana Vellemla reservoir bund
Former Irrigation Minister Harish Rao inspecting the project works (file photo) Below: Brahmana Vellemla reservoir bund

Nalgonda: The Udaya Samudram Lift Irrigation Scheme (USLIS), which was designed to provide irrigation waters to 1 lakh acres and to cater to the drinking water needs of the 107 fluoride-hit villages in Nalgonda and Yadadri-Bhongir districts, is likely to take another 10 to 12 months for full-fledged commencement due to delay in works and land acquisition for its left and right canals. 

It may be recalled that on the request of former minister Komatireddy Venkat Reddy, then Chief Minister YS Rajashekhara Reddy laid the foundation stone in August 2007 for USLIS project at Brahmana Vellemla village of Narketpally mandal in the district with an estimated cost of Rs 700 crore.

The project was envisaged to irrigate 1 lakh acres ayacut in the chronically drought affected upland areas of the erstwhile Nalgonda district besides providing drinking water to 107 fluoride-affected villages in eight mandals i.e., Nalgonda, Narketpally, Chityala, Munugode, Ramannapet, Shaligouraram, Kattangur and Nakrekal. 

Even though the project works were started during Congress government in the united Andhra Pradesh in 2008, the works gained momentum only after the formation of separate Telangana State.

Former Minister for Irrigation T Harish Rao along with another Minister G Jagadish Reddy visited the project site twice to inspect the works. Even though Harish Rao announced to carry out trial run of the project in December 2018, it could not happen as pending works of tunnel and pump house were yet to be completed.  According to official sources, the dry run of pump house is likely to take place in March this year.

So far, the works of Approach canal of 6.9 km, excavation of tunnel for 10.625 km, delivery cistern, artificial reservoir of 0.32 tmc, electric switch yard are completed. Whereas works of surge pool, pump house, delivery mains, 220 KV switch yard, balancing reservoir are nearing completion.

Over 2.65 km CC lining works of 10.625 km D-shaped tunnel are also completed. On the direction of experts and recommendation of irrigation officials, the  respective contract agency is using umbrella technology to strengthen the roof of 10.625 km D-shaped tunnel as the roof of tunnel had collapsed due to lose soil earlier. So far, 2.65 km lining of tunnel was completed and works of remaining portion of tunnel are in progress. 

As per the design of the project , the total land required for the left and right canals of the project is 3,876 acres from the benefitting eight mandals. However, the officials concerned were able to acquire only 1,304 acres and the remaining 2,572 acres needs to be acquired. In Yadadri-Bhongir district, of the required 56 acres for canals, only 0.008 acres was acquired.

LMC, RMC distributor system
The length of left canal is 6,500 km and it’s distributaries and minors and sub-minors is 149.36 km. The left canal is designed to provide irrigation facility to  43,000 acres and so far 4,000 km works are completed. Whereas, the length of right canal is 25,530 km and it’s distributaries, minors and sub-minors is 226.1 km. So far only 6,000 km works are completed.

As per the official information, three offline reservoirs i.e., Gudipally Vagu reservoir, Shashileru Vagu reservoir and Kangal Vagu reservoir have been deleted on technical grounds. So far, the works worth Rs 316.080 crore (65.313 %) is completed as against the agreement value of Rs 483.944 crore (excluding offline reservoirs) and the balance work of Rs 167.864 crore ( 34.68%) is yet to be completed.

As per the in-charge Chief Engineer V Narsimha, the trial run of pump house of project would be carried out in March and full-fledge commencement of the project might take another 9 to 12 months. Meanwhile, it is learnt that experts team from Geological Survey of India would be visiting the project in another 10 days. Officials are set to take final decision release of water as per the recommendations of the expert committee.

As per the agreement, the project should be completed within 48 months from its commencement i.e., 7 August 2012. With the project getting fifth extension to  complete the works by March 2020, the people in the villages and the farmers have urged the officials concerned to finish the works and put a check to the drinking and irrigation water woes.

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