Even as the State government was firm on the construction of 22 reservoirs for pushing ahead the irrigation projects despite Opposition crying foul, an irrigation expert today opposed the proposal of constructing 22 reservoirs, including Mallanna Sagar for distributing waters to crops this season in Medak, Nizamabad, and Karimnagar districts.
Former Engineer-in-chief of Irrigation Department T Hanmantha Rao told media persons that the present project 160 tmc capacity at Kaleshwaram was enough to distribute waters through lift from the existing water points for four months. The government instead can construct reservoirs in Mahbubnagar and Nalgonda districts for Palamur and Dindi lift projects as they have water capacity for just two months against required four months for the season and for drinking waters, he maintained. However, he pointed out that there was no need of constructing Mallanna Sagar or other proposed reservoirs as Kaleshwaram project has storage capacity enough to cater to irrigation needs for four months.
According to estimates, the cost of the 22 reservoirs is put at a whopping Rs 33,000 crore, including Rs 11,000 crore for Mallanna Sagar alone whose capacity is 50 tmc. He said setting up of extra pumps for emergency and present needs to lift waters will cost only Rs 1250 crore.
Thus the government can avoid the planned spending of huge money for new reservoirs in North Telangana which will submerge 14 villages and affect many farm lands. Projects without the support of the reservoirs proved success, including Jawaharlal Nehru project being implemented across the nation and a lift irrigation project in Russia in 1974 too gave positive result, he said. When asked, Hanumanth Rao said he has already made this clear to the State government which is to take a final call to avoid wastage of huge funds.