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Current Affairs

NGT relook on Kaleshwaram project

Date: 23 October 2020 Tags: Infrastructure

Issue

The National Green Tribunal has ruled that the Environmental Clearance given to the project in December 2017 was void as the Telangana government subsequently changed the design of the project to increase its capacity. 

 

Background

The NGT observed that major changes were made in the project due to which large tracts of forest land and other land was taken over and massive infrastructure was built causing adverse impact on the environment.

 

Details

  • The NGT has directed the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests, and Climate Change to constitute a seven-member Expert Committee within a month to assess the extent of damage caused in going ahead with the project’s expansion and identify the restoration measures necessary.

  • The Expert Committee will complete its exercise within six months. The NGT directed the Telangana Government to stop all work except the drinking water component and obtain a Forest Clearance from the Centre before going ahead with the project.

 

Kaleshwaram Project

  • The Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation System is considered to be one of the world’s largest multi-purpose projects. It is designed to provide water for irrigation and drinking purposes.

  • This project is unique because Telangana will harness water at the confluence of two rivers with Godavari by constructing a barrage and reverse pump the water into the main Godavari River.

  • The project has set many records with the world’s longest water tunnels, aqueducts, underground surge pools, and biggest pumps.

  • By the time the water reaches Kondapochamma Sagar, the last reservoir in the system, about 227 kms away in Gajwel district, the Godavari water would have been lifted to a height of 618 metres from its source at Medigadda.

  • Kaleshwaram will transform Telangana into an agricultural powerhouse. The project will enable farmers in Telangana to reap multiple crops with a year-round supply of water wherein earlier they were dependent on rains resulting in frequent crop failures.

  • This year, Telangana farmers have already delivered bumper rabi crops of paddy and maize due to better irrigation facilities and an extended monsoon.