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Ramappa, Pedda Cheruvu vie for heritage tag

Ramappa Lake
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Ramappa Lake

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The two historical irrigation sources - Ramappa and Pedda Cheruvu tanks - are in race for the coveted World Heritage Irrigation Structure (WHIS) tag

Warangal: The two historical irrigation sources - Ramappa and Pedda Cheruvu tanks - are in race for the coveted World Heritage Irrigation Structure (WHIS) tag. The International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage (ICID), a global network of irrigation, drainage, and flood management experts, annually recognises irrigation structures of international significance similarly on the lines of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. Incidentally, Ramappa Temple is also vying for the UNESCO's World Heritage Site tag, and its fate will be decided in a few days.

Any century-old irrigation structure that is functional achieving food security and has archival value is eligible for the nomination for the WHIS. It is imminent that the structure should be evaluated by the State Government and Central Water Commission (CWC) including on-ground survey. Against this backdrop, the Telangana Irrigation Department had selected six tanks that meet the eligible criteria for the WHIS's nomination and forwarded the proposal to the ICID, which passes it to the international jury. Ramappa tank in Mulugu district and Pedda Cheruvu in Mahabubabad district have made it to the six tanks proposed from Telangana.

Ramappa Lake, constructed in 13th century by the Recharla Rudra during the times of Ganapathi Deva rule, is a symbol of how agriculture flourished in the Kakatiya Dynasty. The medium irrigation project with a gross storage of 2,912 MCFT is still relevance in the region catering to the irrigation needs of 5,180 acres. Spread over 82 square kilometers overlooking hill ranges, the lake is popular laidback destination in the erstwhile Warangal district. The lake is part of chain-link tank system designed by the Kakatiya rulers. On the other hand, Pedda Cheruvu which belongs to Kakatiya era was constructed in the 13th century. The eight-foot-high stone inscription available at the site says that Mylamamba of the Kakatiya dynasty dug up Bayyaram cheruvu (Jalanidhi) in memory of her mother Bayyamamba. The tank besides irrigating around 10,000 acres is now serving as a balancing reservoir sourcing water from Devadula lift irrigation scheme.

Speaking to The Hans India, historian Aravind Arya Pakide said, "Both Ramappa and Pedda Cheruvu tanks, built in Kakatiya era, have historical significance, besides being the major source of irrigation in achieving the food security."

It may be noted here that Pedda Cheruvu tank in Kamareddy district and Sadarmat anicut in Nirmal district were named as WHIS sites in 2018. According to irrigation officials, both the tanks will be on world tourism map if the proposal gets the nod of the international jury.

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