In an attempt to make it the first drought-proof state in the country, India’s first river-linking project, linking rivers Godavari and Krishna has been accomplished in Andhra Pradesh. An agreement between Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh allows AP to divert 80 tmc (thousand million cubic) of water from the Godavari to meet the needs of the Krishna delta.
As per the officials, the first pump of the lift scheme for diverting 80 tmc of waters from the Godavari into the Krishna, a distance of around 160 km, started its operations from 16th September.
Union Government earlier constituted a Task Force on interlinking of rivers across the country. The Task Force was chaired by former Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources B N Navalawala and consisted of other experts and senior officials.
Details of the Project:
It is popularly known as Pattiseema Project – as the lift scheme is being constructed at a village of the same name in west Godavari district at a cost of Rs 1,300 crore. It comprises 24 pumps each with a 5,300 horse power (HP) capacity and a pumping capacity of 354 cusecs of water. These pumps are supposed to transfer 80 tmc of water in three months – August, September and October, which normally witness floods in river Godavari.
The water is being lifted by pumps, which together consume 113 MW of power, and carried in a pipe up to a little less than 2 km distance and then discharged into the right canal of Polavaram multi-purpose irrigation project. Through this canal, the water will travel by gravitation till it flows into Krishna River near Ibrahimpatnam in Krishna district.
It would take about two years to complete the fabrication of motors and pumps of this size and number. Seven pumps are expected to be installed by November while the remaining would be done by the end of this year.
The project contractor Megha Engineering and Infrastructure Limited (MEIL) was offered hefty incentives of nearly 15 per cent to finish it in one year by March 2016. The actual work on the project had begun on March 29 this year.
The project attracted a bit of criticism as the lift scheme becomes redundant once this project gets completed and the other criticism about the lift scheme is that the project will remain mostly useless since Krishna and river Godavari experience floods more or less during the same period.