Congress govt’s reluctance to utilise Kaleshwaram Project turns reservoirs dry in Telangana 

In a troubling development, the once-thriving water projects during the BRS government are now facing severe depletion, exacerbating Hyderabad’s fresh water crisis. Among the most affected is the Yellampalli project.  Previously deemed as a year-round water source, it is now on the verge of drying up. 

The Sri Raja Rajeshwara (Mid Manair) reservoir, once a vital water hub, now resembles a desert, with water levels dwindling to alarming lows. Even Lower Manair historically unaffected by water shortages, has encountered dead storage levels. The Annapurna Reservoir, crucial for water supply up to Kondapochamma Sagar, is similarly facing dwindling water reserves.

The Yellampalli project, designed to hold 20.175 TMC of water, currently holds only 6.75 TMC. Last year during the same period, the project had 13.5 TMC of water.

Despite provisions to lift water from Medigadda in case of shortages, the situation has become dire. Efforts to lift water are hindered by the alleged sagging of Medigadda pillars, exacerbating the crisis for irrigation and drinking water.

A pump house established at Brahmanapalli under the Abul Kalam Sujala Sravanti scheme, intended to supply 10 TMC of water annually to Hyderabad, faces imminent shutdown due to plummeting water levels. With water levels dropping below operational thresholds, authorities are scrambling to extract water from dead storage using 20 pumps to sustain supply to Hyderabad.

Despite efforts, the current water supply to Hyderabad, initially planned at 178.88 million gallons, has dwindled to 174.34 million gallons, further diminishing each passing day. 

The Sri Rajarajeshwara (Mid Manair) reservoir, with a capacity of 27.55 TMCs, now holds a mere 5.98 TMCs, nearing dead storage levels. The failure to lift water from the Kaleshwaram project have exacerbated the crisis.

The Annapurna Reservoir, too, now lies dry, with only 0.5 TMC of its 3.5 TMC capacity remaining. Similarly, the Lower Manair Reservoir, with a capacity of 24.034 TMC, holds only 6.208 TMC, further aggravating the water scarcity in neighboring areas.

The Congress government’s approach to water management, criticized for its reluctance to address expert suggestions, has worsened the state’s water crisis. The failure to repair pillars at Medigadda and utilize the Kaleshwaram lifts has drawn significant backlash. 

The repercussions of the water crisis extend beyond Hyderabad, affecting regions in Nizamabad, Karimnagar, and Warangal. Groundwater depletion has forced farmers back to borewells signaling a return to drought-like conditions.

The current Yasangi season has seen thousands of acres of crops wither due to inadequate water supply, posing significant challenges to farmers.