Hyderabad: The Kaleshwaram project, touted as the world's largest multi-stage lift irrigation scheme and boon to Telangana, was inaugurated by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao at Medigadda in Jayashankar-Bhupalpally district on Friday.
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governor ESL Narasimhan, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy of Andhra Pradesh were present on the occasion when the Medigadda barrage was opened.
The total cost of the Kalesharam lift irrigation project was pegged at around Rs 81,000 crore but later rose to Rs 92,000 crore.
Rao and his wife participated in 'Jala Sankalpa Mahotsava Yagam' at the Medigadda barrage earlier.
KCR had earlier patted himself on the back for succeeding in maintaining a cordial relationship with neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, the governors and chief ministers of which were invited to the inauguration, despite "repeated attempts" by Congress to "derail" the mega Kaleshwaram irrigation project.
He had slammed the Congress party for "swindling funds and making false charges of corruption" adding that his government was committed to completing other major projects, including Devadula, Sitarama and Palamuru.
The chief minister had earlier alleged that the Centre did not give a "single penny" for the project. He further appreciated the Jagan Mohan Reddy government for maintaining friendly relationship with Telangana and acknowledged Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis's cooperation.
"With Fadnavis's cooperation, we are able to take up Chanaka Korata project work in our state. The projects will irrigate about 45 lakh acres of land. About 3,500 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) water is going waste into the sea, which the Telugu states and Maharashtra or Karnataka have to tap by taking necessary measures. A delegation from AP will visit Hyderabad to look at the project development," KCR said.
Speaking on relations with Reddy government, he said that they will mutually decide on smooth distribution of assets and installations between two states. "About 5,000 TMC water is available for our states, of which, we will get share of 3,200 TMC from Krishna and Godavari rivers," the Telangana CM added.
The government procured 50,000 acres of land to set up the facility, reimbursing the people displaced with Rs 8,500 crore.
It houses 11 motors running on 40 megawatts, 19 pump houses, 20 barrages, 203 km-long tunnels, 1,531 km-long canals and 98 km-long pipelines, all of which are operated by 60,000 workers.
The site also boasts of 16 helipads at various places near the project for ease of access.
The scheme would provide irrigation facility to 45 lakh acres for two crops, according to the state government, which said that it would also provide water to the ambitious Mission Bhagiratha drinking water supply project.
The project would also help in supplying drinking water to one crore people in Greater Hyderabad on a daily basis, as also 16 TMC of water to thousands of industries in the state, it said.