Exclusive: Works on Lower Penganga Project to finally begin

Works on Lower Penganga Project between Maharashtra and Telangana will restart soon.

By S. Harpal Singh  Published on  4 March 2023 9:28 AM GMT
Lower Penganga Project

Works on Lower Penganga Project between Maharashtra and Telangana will restart soon. 

Adilabad: Work on the dam of the Lower Penganga Project between Maharashtra and Telangana is likely to restart in the coming months.

Shiv Sena-BJP government in Maharashtra is supporting the project. The project across Penganga river was conceived way back in 1975. It brought cheers to farmers on this side of the border. They have waited for so long.

Maharashtra government has banned land transactions in villages to curb 'artificial' jacking up land prices. People in 18 villages will be rehabilitated before any impounding of water.

In addition to facing problems related to the acquisition of land and rehabilitation, there was the issue of credit being bagged by the Congress party for the project. It was alleged that the previous Devendra Fadnavis-led BJP government in Maharashtra had stopped work four years back to deny Congress any claim of being instrumental in irrigating the dry areas of the Vidarbha region.

Tenders for the head works located in Tadsaoli village of Ghatanji taluka in the Yavatmal district of the neighboring state will be called within the next 15 days, according to former Kelapur legislator Shivajirao Moghe, a senior Congress party leader who spearheaded the long drawn struggle for the construction of the LPP in the backward Vidarbha areas.

Work on the dam will be taken up in three phases, the height of the dam going up with each phase which will result in phase wise increase of the designed ayacut.

The project, designed for the storage of 36 tmcft of water from Penganga river, envisages utilization of 42 tmcft, the share of Maharashtra being 37.46 tmcft and that of Telangana being 5.12 tmcft. An estimated 2.10 lakh hectares of land will be irrigated in Yavatmal, Chandrapur, and Gadchiroli districts of the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra and Kinwat taluka of Nanded district.

Some 19,700 hectares of land will eventually be irrigated in the Adilabad, Jainad, and Bela mandals of the Adilabad district which will end the long wait for farmers here. The State government is expected to contribute its share of 12 percent of the cost of the project to avail utilization of the 5.12 tmcft of water.

Irrigation officials in Telangana prefer drawing water from the LPP right canal as the water flows to the parched areas by gravity. The current improvement of irrigation through the Chanaka-Korta barrage which was seen as a viable alternative is proving to be costly, the officials pointed out.

To negate any delay in irrigating lands in the Adilabad district owing to delay in the materialization of the LPP, the Telangana State government agreed with Maharashtra in 2016 to utilize its share of water from Penganga by constructing a barrage across the river near Korta village in Jainad Mandal. This agreement resulted in the construction of the Chanaka-Korta barrage to the same extent as Ayacut in the Adilabad district but the cost ran into nearly Rs. 800 crore from the initial about Rs. 370 crore.

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