Revival of the age old chain link irrigation tanks in the district could impetus to the agricultural growth and enable the TRS government realise its dream of making every village self-reliant in terms of development.
The Kakatiya rulers created vast reservoirs which had two to three times more storage than the yield of the basin. Among scores of tanks they built, Ramappa, Laknavaram, Pakala are prominent in Warangal district.
For instance, the storage capacity of Ramappa lake is 2,913 mcft (million cubic feet) while the yield of the basin is only 1,120 mcft. Similarly the actual storage capacity of Pakala lake is 3262 mcft, while the yield of the basin is 1,878 mcft.
The storage capacity of Mulug Ghanpur tank is 1430 mcft while yield of the basin is 602 mcft . The excess water stored in a good monsoon catered to the needs in drought period.
Retired academic of NIT, Prof M Panduranga Rao, who is authority on irrigation, says Warangal district has nearly 2,000 tanks that date back to the Kakatiya period. “There are over 5,000 tanks in entire Telangana State which if revived could store nearly 250 tmc of water, that is three times the storage capacity of SRSP,” he says.
The present storage capacity of SRSP is 85 tmc after deducting silt. The Kakatiya rulers took maximum advantage of the topography and created sprawling tanks abutting hillocks and forest tracts all over the district. The government should focus on developing the catchment area by removing encroachments, clearing feeder channels, desilt tanks and maintain them to fill these tanks either by rain or filling them from rivers.
The tanks if filled to their capacity would help recharge the groundwater level and it would rejuvenate nearly 10 lakh open and bore wells in the Telangana State, relieving the farmers from stress.
“If one acre is brought under cultivation newly under each tank, we can bring under cultivation about 10 lakhs acres afresh,” Prof. Rao opined.
First Published by The Hindu on 11 Jul. 2014 | Updated on 04 Dec, 2021