Keshavapuram reservoir construction yet to see light of the day

Hyderabad:  Despite completing 90 per cent of land acquisition, work on the reservoir at Keshavapuram, flagship programme of the Metro Water Board, has not moved an inch in over a year. The reservoir is part of a project to bring Godavari water to the city.

Although officials announced a ground-breaking ceremony amid fanfare last year, the project remains on the back burner. Officials claimed that the project was put on hold due to a delay in land acquisition by revenue authorities.

According to Water Board officials, Medchal-Malkajgiri revenue officials were yet to complete the land-acquisition process pertaining to 490 acres in their jurisdiction. They have not yet fixed and finalised compensation amounts that are to be paid to owners to take over their land.

Meanwhile, 1,012 acres of forest land has been cleared by the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change for use the project. The Centre has only to give final instructions to the state government for releasing the relevant order to go ahead with the project construction.

The Keshavapuram reservoir requires about 3,500 acres. Eighty-seven per cent of the land in the area belongs to the government, endowments and forest departments while the other 13 per cent is owned by private persons The Centre has laid down land compensation conditions for the remaining 1,012 acres.

A senior Water Board official told Deccan Chronicle that HMWS&SB has almost completed 90 per cent of the land acquisition process and it requires 490 acres of land from private persons to start the project. The official said that revenue authorities have not identified the owners whose land would be lost. He said that as soon as revenue authorities complete the process, the reservoir construction would tentatively start in mid-June. When asked about the earlier ground-breaking ceremonies in February and December last year, the official refused to comment.

Meanwhile, the state government has redesigned the 10 tmc ft reservoir, bringing down the storage capacity to 5 tmc ft in order to minimise private land acquisition. The remaining 5 tmc ft will be directly drawn from the Kondapochamma Sagar to Ganpur in a 3,600 mm pipeline parallel to the existing Godavari pipeline. The redesign of the project is stated to avoid acquiring 850 acres of private lands. It will also bring down the project from Rs 4,777.59 crore in 2017 to Rs 4,369.37 crore in 2020.



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