Being just a visitor to Andhra for more than ten years, I am completely cut off from what is happening there. And with no knowledge of Tamil, these long years in Tamil Nadu didn’t make me get interested in Tamil politics.  So, whatever is left for me is central politics. In spite of such a level of ignorance over Telugu politics and with no real interest in reading Telugu news papers or news channels, it came as a pleasant surprise to me when I heard about this. Well, I was talking about something on a similar vein a few days ago – when Edappadi Palaniswami became the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Whatever the reasons, one of the first decision he took was farm loan waiver to the tune of 2500 crores. What I asked, instead of indulging in the annual ritual of farm loan waiver, what happens if you do something regarding making farmers self sufficient, like, dredging tanks. That will ensure the farmlands under those tanks will not face problems at least for 50 years and will make the farmers self reliant for a long time.
When I was checking about that Project Kakatiya, it looks like Telangana Government is spending about 5000 crores to dredge and strengthen the bund/wier 17000 odd tanks in Telangana. Unless there is a bund breach, this is going to result in making the 8.8 lakh hectare farmlands under them literally self sufficient w.r.t water. This humungous effort is to be carried out simply because nothing was done concretely post merger in 1953. Is it cultural or is it deliberate?
Telangana is tank based irrigation while Andhra(coast) is canal based. Rayalaseema was always a step son, not worth thinking about. One time maintenance of a canal is far cheaper as compared to that of a tank when compared in cost of repair per acre. An Andhra politician, who is the controlling power will never understand the point in spending that heavy on a single tank and this spending has taken a back seat. So, what’s the catch here? A tank, if repaired and strengthened properly will stand years. But, a canal, in an area having regular flooding needs almost annual maintenance. This is where the real problem was. The Andhra politician looked at an annual cost, but had he looked at a 30 year timeframe, he would have noted that the cost for maintaining a tank would have costed far lesser as compared to that of a canal. Whether it was deliberate or cultural, the bottomline is that the tank system which was the backbone of Telangana architecture lost it’s ayacut considerably, mainly due to silting and weakness of the bund resulting in regular repairs. This forced usage of more water from the two rivers resulting in lesser availability in the delta. The water was never sufficient for both of the territories and the one which was politically strong, obviously Andhra always, got more water while the other starved.
With the staes separated, it would become imperative for Telangana to look into it’s tank network and clean it up. If not helping Andhra by consuming less water from Krishna and Godavari, this is going to considerably top up it’s water quota from the rivers. First of all, I am blown up with the number of tanks in Telangana and with it’s Kakatiya history, Warangal belt has got a very high number of them. Once the tank bed is dredged, the silt is deposited in the fields, thereby increasing it’s fertility considerably, giving it another added advantage. It looks like the world has already started looking at it as this adds another serious dimension to water harvesting. A synopsis of the data is below.
Total Tanks: 48412
Number of Tanks selected for repair: 17312
Total cost: 5614.27 cr
Total Ayacut: 8.88 lakh

Number of Tanks Cost(cr)
Phase 1 8245 2594.867
Phase 2 9066 3016.7068
Phase 3 1 2.694
Total 17312 5614.2678
Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
District Number of Tanks Total Ayacut Tanks Cost Estimate Tanks Cost Estimate Tanks Cost Estimate Total Tanks Total Cost Total Ayacut
Adilabad 674 84,911 112 80.70 72 31.34 0 0 184 112.04 23180.45
Asifabad 991 85,681 203 66.42 280 114.19 0 0 483 180.61 41759.76
Bhupalpally 2620 146,190 420 139.14 278 106.97 0 0 698 246.10 38946.80
Gadwal 598 12,853 122 20.70 703 185.48 0 0 825 206.18 17731.98
Jagtial 1217 73,464 198 63.40 410 115.16 0 0 608 178.56 36701.82
Jangaon 957 49,368 167 60.46 512 132.33 0 0 679 192.80 35027.03
Kamareddy 1951 94,689 391 111.97 494 194.08 0 0 885 306.04 42952.21
Karimnagar 1576 54,652 230 88.60 196 83.47 0 0 426 172.07 14772.69
Khammam 1415 114,786 296 132.42 303 115.53 0 0 599 247.96 48591.39
Kothagudem 2601 166,656 446 94.73 121 33.54 0 0 567 128.27 36329.85
Mahabubabad 2015 119,978 336 121.77 427 149.91 0 0 763 271.68 45430.88
Mahabubnagar 2567 120,119 414 109.41 93 12.68 0 0 507 122.09 23724.32
Mancherial 963 89,119 200 44.89 218 67.98 0 0 418 112.87 38683.01
Medak 3373 90,471 552 127.44 154 52.39 0 0 706 179.83 18936.41
Medchal 425 17,580 95 21.63 372 142.27 0 0 467 163.90 19317.32
Nagarkurnool 2175 60,231 282 82.84 518 169.59 0 0 800 252.43 22153.93
Nalgonda 2662 131,914 401 142.82 382 128.93 0 0 783 271.76 38801.15
Nirmal 747 57,877 126 51.31 158 54.53 0 0 284 105.83 22004.11
Nizamabad 1252 118,198 278 122.50 73 26.01 0 0 351 148.50 33136.98
Peddapalli 1399 45,180 116 48.20 429 132.60 0 0 545 180.80 17600.50
Ranga Reddy 2636 49,385 322 70.08 120 48.94 0 0 442 119.01 8280.79
Sangareddy 2017 73,846 371 96.60 232 70.01 0 0 603 166.61 22076.92
Siddipet 4217 91,961 852 169.27 433 136.75 0 0 1285 306.02 28022.26
Sircilla 641 47,833 116 43.81 699 163.49 1 2.694 816 210.00 60891.93
Suryapet 1280 74,935 241 101.54 119 97.79 0 0 360 199.32 21075.47
Vikarabad 1189 76,357 244 86.00 294 113.87 0 0 538 199.87 34550.10
Wanaparthy 1189 53,813 162 54.75 268 96.01 0 0 430 150.76 19461.39
Warangal 1047 79,436 224 95.85 301 95.52 0 0 525 191.37 39831.81
Warangal – Urban 744 40,300 126 59.06 138 60.18 0 0 264 119.24 14300.00
Yadadri 1274 65,553 202 86.57 269 85.16 0 0 471 171.74 24235.06
48412 2,387,336 8245 2594.867 9066 3016.7068 1 2.694 17312 5,614.27 888508.32
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