World’s largest lift irrigation project, Kaleshwaram gets new milestone

The project intends to mould Telangana into a 'Food Bowl' using the water resources of the Godavari river

World’s largest lift irrigation project, Kaleshwaram gets new milestone

The Markook pump house, the last and vital one, was inaugurated by Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao today, thus releasing the water to Kondapochammasagar; yet another milestone in the multi-stage Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS). After performing the ‘Chandi Yagam’ by China Jeeyar Swamy, he also inaugurated the pump house and reservoir. Megha Engineering and Infrastructures (MEIL) has built this reservoir and pump house, equipping it with six machines of 27 MW capacity each and an operational pumping capacity of 3,763 MW.

Infra giant, Megha Engineering Infrastructure enhanced its reputation by completing all the critical works of Kaleshwaram Project, a multi-purpose lift irrigation project taken up by Telangana Government in record time. The project intends to mould Telangana into a ‘Food Bowl’ using the water resources of the Godavari river. By completing the majority of the pumping stations for this ambitious project in a record time of four years, MEIL proved its mettle in terms of its engineering and management capacities.

Salient Features
A total of 22 pumping stations with 96 machines having a total capacity of 4,680 MW was constructed for this mega project; a first-of-its-kind in the world. Out of the total, MEIL built 15 pumping stations with 89 machines having a capacity of 3,840 MW. One of the most notable achievements of the project is that all of these pumping houses have been operationalised and pumping water. The determination of Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao and his regular and intense monitoring along with the irrigation department officials, coupled with the critical support extended by highly-reputed electro-mechanical engineering companies like BHEL, Aandriz, Zylum ABB, Crompton Greeves, VEGG among others, have contributed immensely in achieving this record-breaking feat. Construction work for this mammoth multi-purpose lift irrigation project was initiated four years back. And within three years, all the pumping stations in Link-1 and Link-2 have been operationalised.

World’s largest lift irrigation project
Even though the pump house in Package-14 had come into operation recently, the total pumping capacity utilisation has already reached upto 3,763 MW, signifying a record in the engineering history. It also holds the distinction of lifting water to a height of 600 feet; also a record in the irrigation sector’s history. Given the size and capacity to serve in multiple ways, Kaleshwaram Project has now become the world’s largest lift irrigation project. The pace of the project works has put even the engineering experts in surprise. Nowhere in the world has a project with such gigantic proportions been completed in such a short period, especially when the construction of reservoirs and canals itself taking decades.

MEIL completed the construction of 15 pumping stations with a total capacity of 3,840 MW that could lift two thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of water per day. While nine pumping stations with a total capacity of 3,763 MW already operationalised, four more with a capacity of 35.4 MW are ready for operation, and two pumping stations with a capacity of 41 MW are still in the completion stage.  

Most of these pumping stations with the highest capacities are constructed in underground. Gayathri (Package-8), Annapurna (Package-10), Ranganayakasagar Project (Package-11), and Mallannasagar (Package-12) are some of the big underground pump houses constructed for this project. The surge pool and additional surge pools of the Gayathri pump house are the biggest surge pools in the world. For this pump house with an area of 84,753.2 sq.fts, nearly 2.3 cubic meters of soil excavated below the ground.  

Link-1 and Link-2 pump houses are the most critical components of this project. As part of Link-1, three pump houses, Lakshmi (Medigadda), Saraswathi (Annaram), and Parvathi (Sundilla) have been constructed. These three pump houses with 28 machines are having a total capacity of 1120 Mega Watt, and they help in bringing Pranahitha water into the Godavari to fill Sripadasagar Yellampalli Reservoir and also reverse the flow of Godavari River from lower part to the upper part. 

An underground wonder
The Gayathri (Package-8) pump house is the largest underground pump house in the world, constructed 470 feet below the ground with a huge pumping capacity. Considered now as an underground engineering wonder, it has the world’s largest surge pool and twin tunnels. The 7 machines, with a total capacity of 139 MW could lift 2 TMCs of water per day. These machines are designed and developed based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The underground surge pool in this pump house is taller than the Eiffel Tower, and each one of them could lift 3,000 cusecs of water to a height of 111 meters. It is being hailed as an engineering marvel created by MEIL, with support from BHEL.  

“Not only in terms of each machine but even in terms of total capacity, it is the world’s largest pump house. One can imagine the size of this pump house constructed 470 feet below the ground with 327 meters of length 25 meters of width, and 65 meters of height. While the Kaleshwaram project requires 4,680 MW of total capacity to lift 2 TMCs of water per day, MEIL established 89 machines with a total capacity of 3,840 MW, that indicates the role being played by the company for this project of Telangana,” said B. Srinivas Reddy, Director, MEIL.

Ranganayakasagar with the second largest capacity
Ranganayakasagar of Package-11 has four machines, each with a capacity of 134 MW. This pump house with a total pumping capacity of 536 MW is the second-largest pump house in the world, after the Gayathri pump house.

“We feel proud to complete this project in time, using sophisticated technology by associating with the world’s best engineering companies. We could complete this project in shortest time only because of the determination and regular monitoring of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandra Shekhar Rao as he directly involved and provided guidance to interact with officials on every aspect of the project and encouraged us a lot,” Reddy said.

By establishing such big pump houses with such high capacities, that too for a lift irrigation project, the Irrigation Department of Telangana also created a world record, as there are no such big pump houses anywhere in the world.  

Massive power infrastructure
MEIL has established a massive power supply systems for the Kaleshwaram project, which is almost equal to one-fourth of the entire power supply system of Telangana that has a capacity of 15,087 MW; covering 33 districts. It is nearly similar to the whole power infrastructure of all the seven north-eastern states of India.  

Telangana Government recently decided to further increase the pumping capacity of the Kaleshwaram Project by one more TMC per day. As part of this, a total of 15 new machines, each with a pumping capacity of 40 MW are being established in Lakshmi, Saraswathi, and Parvathi Pump Houses of Link-1 component. This work of installing an additional 600 MW capacity is also assigned to MEIL, which is being implemented in association with Zylum and Andriz companies. State government is also in the process of finalising works related to additional TMC water from Mid Maneru to Mallannasagar.

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