Though Kaleshwaram project, the biggest project in Telangana constructed after state Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao took over the reins, is not just big and prestigious but has changed the face of the state and its agriculture. Though it has all the clearances from the Union government and other authorities, the proposal for subsequent additional components of the project has not been submitted by Telangana government for consideration by the Advisory Committee.
Inaugurated by the CM, Kaleshwaram project is stated to be one of the biggest irrigation and drinking water supply projects in the world. Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in Lok Sabha said the physical progress achieved on Kaleshwaram project till October 31, 2021, is 83.7 per cent. The total command area proposed to be irrigated under the project is 18.25 lakh acres. Additionally, stabilisation of an area of 18.82 lakh acres was also envisaged.
Answering to a questioned raised by Congress MP N Uttam Kumar Reddy in the lower house of the Parliament, Jal Shakti minister the Kaleshwaram project was accepted by the Advisory Committee on Irrigation, Flood Control and Multipurpose Projects of the Ministry in June 2018. The minister also told that the project was executed by the Telangana government with its own resources. As informed by the state government, tenders for the project were invited on e-procurement platform based on a lump-sum contract system.
The total cost incurred on the project so far was reported to be Rs 80,321.57 crore. The estimated cost of the Kaleshwaram project has been finalised for Rs 80,190.46 crore (price level 2015-16) by the Advisory Committee on Irrigation, Flood Control and Multipurpose Projects of the Ministry in June 2018, at which the benefit-cost ratio worked out to be 1:51.
Responding to another question from Revanth Reddy about the eviction of people due to the project, the minister the state government informed that there was no forceful eviction of the people affected by the project. Rehabilitation and Resettlement (R&R) centres were also created for project oustees. Revanth Reddy mentioned a total of 20,878 people were evicted due to the project!