Three large barrages, five pump houses including two underground, long tunnels, huge surge pools and an underground sub-station, all constructed within a short span of less than three years make Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project most unique.
Reaching a position to lift 2 tmc ft of water a day literally from scratch in just 30 months makes the project one of the fastest to be executed in the country by any standards. Thousands of workers, hundreds of engineers and technicians, discipline of the work agencies and commitment of the government have all made it possible.
To be able to create a mechanism to lift Godavari water to a height of 220 m, from 100 m above sea level at Medigadda to 320 m level at Laxmipur, with the help of five pump houses, including huge ones underground, is no mean task given the challenges posed in their construction. Establishing an underground 400 KV sub-station and excavating tunnels running to a length of nearly 50 km, 24.917 km long twin tunnels in Package-6, 7 and 8, was also a test to the technology and expertise of engineers and other technicians.
All these works, three barrages and five pump houses, which are to be operationalised now, to make the project partly functional would enable the irrigation engineers take Godavari water to Mid Manair reservoir. Supplementation from there to the linked canal networks of Sriramsagar would stabilise a portion of the 15.78 lakh acres existing ayacut under Stage-I, II and Flood Flow Canal.
According to project engineers, over 60% of the total work would be over with the completion of Link-I and II which have the three barrages and five pump houses to lift water to 220 m out of a total of 518 m in the last link of the project. “Execution of the project has not only been a lifetime experience for all the engineers involved in it but also a rare and one-off opportunity of handling such a mega project,” project Engineer-in-Chief N. Venkateshwarlu said. Execution of the project taught many of them a lesson or two in management as they were involved in every process from land acquisition to installation of crest gates and gigantic motor pumps, the ENC said adding that the two underground pump houses in Package-6 and 8 are engineering marvels.
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