|The expert committee of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change has given its go-ahead for preparation of environmental impact and management reports as part of the process of appraisal for environmental clearance to the first-phase of Sita Rama Lift Irrigation Project in Bhadradri-Kothagudem district.|
While recommending the terms of reference for preparing the reports, the expert panel has asked the Irrigation Department to work out economic viability of the project based on the guidelines issued by the Central Board of Irrigation and Power (CBIP) with regard to the planning and design of large lift irrigation schemes. It further said: “The true, not subsidised, cost of electricity should be considered for economic analysis”. Sita Rama is the second major irrigation project after Kaleshwaram redesigned by Telangana Government with the integration of Indira Sagar and Rajiv Sagar Lift Irrigation Schemes planned in united Andhra Pradesh State. The panel has also made it clear that the existing environmental clearance given to the two individual projects will not be valid any more for the purpose of taking up of any minor or medium irrigation.
The panel has issued terms of reference for appraisal after a presentation made before it by the Irrigation Department and the consultant, WAPCOS, on the need for redesigning and integration of the two earlier projects.
They explained that after bifurcation of AP, seven mandals of Khammam district were transferred to AP and in the process the intake structure of proposed Indira Sagar became part of AP territory. As a result, the Telengana Government had decided not only to integrate the two earlier projects but also to cover the balance ayacut which was not the part of any of the present or future irrigation schemes. Accordingly, the integrated scheme was renamed as Sita Rama Lift Irrigation Scheme (SRLIS) to cover 9.36 lakh acres of cultivable command area in Bhadradri-Kothagudem, Khammam and Mahabubabad districts.
The project, proposes to divert 70.40 tmcft Godavari river water from the upstream of existing Dummugudem Anicut, would provide water for irrigation, minor irrigation tanks en-route, drinking water to villages and towns en-route and supplementation of some of the existing/proposed irrigation schemes.
Similarly, the expert panel has also issued similar terms of reference for the appraisal of Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme in Jayashankar-Bhoopalpally district. It proposes to draw 4.5 tmcft water from Godavari near Kannepalli village to fill 14 minor irrigation tanks and also drinking water to villages en-route.