What is Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP)?

On October 20, 2020, the National Green Tribunal (NGT), India's court for environmental issues, held that the environmental clearance granted to the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP) in Telangana violates the legal requirements. The decision came after a petition filed by a farmer from Siddipet district, whose land was affected by the KLIP. 

Key Highlights:

1- NGT has directed the Government of Telangana to stop working on the KLIP project, except for drinking water supply component. 

2- A committee is formed by NGT to assess the damage caused by the project and to suggest restoration measures. A report is to be filed by the committee within 6 months. 

3- NGT further stated that the environmental clearances for the project have not been obtained prior to the beginning of the project. 

4- The project got a nod and necessary clearances from the Central Government after the work was in process. 

5- The tribunal noted that the KLIP project was never exclusively a water supply project.

6- The tribunal also stated the Environment Ministry may enforce strict measures to prevent recurrence of such violations where environment clearance is sought ex post facto.

About the Project

1- Originally known as the Pranahita-Chevella project in Andhra Pradesh. 

2- In 2014, the project was redesigned, extended and renamed as the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP) and extended to Telangana. 

3- It is currently the world's largest multi-purpose irrigation project and is located on the Godavari river in Kaleshwaram village, Telangana. 

4- It starts at the confluence point of Pranahita and Godavari river. Interestingly, the Pranahita river is also a confluence of various smaller tributaries-- Wardha, Painganga and Wainganga. 

5- This project was introduced to provide irrigation facilities to drought-prone districts of Telangana. 

6- It is divided into 7 links and 28 packages and is spread over 500 km approximately, utilizing a canal network of more than 1,800 km.

7- The project supported Mission Bhagiratha (for safe drinking water) and Mission Kakatiya (restoration of irrigation tanks and lakes) in Telangana. 

8- The rivers have an estimated annual discharge of more than 6,427,900 acre-feet or 280 TMC. 

9- Introduced on June 21, 2019, by Telangana Governor E.S. L. Narasimhan and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao.

Aim of the project

The project aims at producing a total of 240 TMC. Out of this, 169 TMC will be allocated for irrigation, 30 TMC for Hyderabad municipal water, 16 TMC for industrial purposes and 10 TMC for drinking purposes in nearby villages.

The project was introduced to increase the Culturable Command Area (CCA). The area can be irrigated after accounting for both upstream and downstream factors by 1,825,000 acre-ft across all 13 districts, in addition to stabilizing the existing CCA.

National Green Tribunal (NGT)

1- National Green Tribunal (NGT) was established in the year 2010 under the National Green Tribunal Act of 2010. 

2- It was constituted to provide effective and timely disposal of cases related to the environmental protection, conservation of forests and other natural resources, etc. 

3- The tribunal is not bound under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 but is governed by the principles of natural justice. 

4- The tribunal sits in New Delhi in addition to 4 other places-- Bhopal, Pune, Kolkata and Chennai. 

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