irrigationHyderabad, (IANS) Telangana has embarked on the construction of a prestigious irrigation project across the Godavari river that is expected to irrigate 18.5 lakh acres of land across seven districts of the state.

Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Monday laid the foundation stone for the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project in Karimnagar district.

The Rs.84,000 crore project, expected to be completed in three years, will augment drinking water supply to Hyderabad while 10 percent of the water will be allocated for industrial use.

Accompanied by his wife Shoba and cabinet colleagues, the chief minister performed ‘bhoomi puja’ for pump house at Kannepally village before laying foundation stone for Medigadda barrage at Ambatipally village.

The state government said Kaleshwaram, a part of the re-designed Pranahita-Chevella project, will change the agriculture scenario and prove a boon for the state, especially north Telangana districts.

It is one of the major projects re-designed by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) government with a target to irrigate one crore acres of land. Rao said when completed the projects would free the state from recurring drought, make it green and prosperous and bring smiles on the face of farmers.

The project will lift 160 thousand million cubic (tmc) feet of water from Godavari. The Medigadda barrage at a height of 100 metres can store 16 tmc ft of water. Two more barrages will also be built at Annaram and Sundilla, to store 6.22 tmc ft and 2.16 tmc ft of water respectively.

The water will then be lifted to various existing projects and this will require 4,500 megawatt power.

Officials said in addition to bringing 18.5 lakh acres of land under irrigation, the project will also stabilise 11.8 lakh acre existing irrigated land.

Medak will be biggest beneficiary as 7.30 lakh acres of land will be irrigated in the district. It will also benefit Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Nalgonda, Adilabad, Warangal and Ranga Reddy districts.

Hyderabad will get 30 tmc water to meet its drinking water requirements, villages en route will be supplied 10 tmc while another 16 tmc water will be allocated for industrial use.

The state embarked on the project following an agreement with Maharashtra in March to set up inter-state water board, ending decades of discord on utilisation of water in Godavari and its tributaries.

During his speech at foundation stone laying ceremony, the chief minister took a dig at some political parties of Andhra Pradesh raising objections to irrigation projects being taken up in Telangana. He said Telangana was only trying to fully utilise 1,300 tmc of water, its share in the united Andhra Pradesh.