The Sri Ram Sagar Project (SRSP) , the only project on river Godavari in United Andhra Pradesh, came to life for the first time after six decades. It is heartening to see endless stretches of water for the first time.
It was proposed in 1953 but foundation was laid in 1963. It was estimated to cost Rs. 40 crore to tap 196 TMC of water for irrigation needs. But it costed Rs. 15,000 crore at the end
The SRSP that hardly had 4,000 cusecs of water now has 8,000 cusecs. The water is seen in the KU canal to a stretch of 347 kilometres. This year the state government plans to supply irrigation water to 24,30,753 lakh acres. Over the years, the silt accumulated in the project and the canals became defunct rendering the project obsolete.
However, after the formation of separate Telangana, the visionary chief minister Mr KCR gave special focus to improving the irrigation infrastructure. The SRSP too got enough funds and renovation and lining of canals were taken up. The measures brought to life the defunct canals increasing their water holding capacity.
Though the project’s second phase was planned in 1984 envisaging irrigation of 9,68,640 acres, it remained on paper. It did not take off in the integrated Andhra Pradesh as the then rulers lacked focus and seriousness on projects in the Telangana region. The farmers under the ayacut of SRSP are now happy as they can get enough water for two crops and even more.
Meanwhile, a large number of people are thronging the project site in Nizamabad to witness the spectacular nature and water. They were going there for a picnic and to enjoy nature.
By Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao