Mission Kakatiya

Importance of Tanks in the development of the new state of TelanganaTanks have been the life line of Telangana owing to the state’s geographical positioning. The people of the state are highly dependent on the tanks which are spread across all the 31 districts. The topography and rainfall pattern in Telangana have made tank irrigation an ideal type of irrigation by storing and regulating water flow for agricultural use.

Construction of tanks in Telangana has been an age old activity since pre Satavahana era. During the Kakatiya era, the construction of tanks was carried out with utmost technical expertise. Tanks such as Ramappa, Pakhala, Laknavaram, Ghanapuram, Bayyaram which were built by Kakatiyas resemble seas and they greatly helped agriculture and overall development and prosperity of the

This vision and legacy of Kakatiyas were carried forward by Qutubshahis and Asafjahis who ruled this region for centuries. Hundreds of big and small tanks were built in Telangana region during their rule. Government desires to uphold the vision of Kakatiyas which envisages revival and restoration of Minor Irrigation Sources in Telangana State.

Tank irrigation has huge bearing on generation of rural employment, poverty reduction and agricultural growth. The sheer size of command area under tank irrigation makes it a large center of agricultural production and provides a critical opportunity for commercial agriculture through market linkages. Infact, the A.P. irrigation policy, at the instance of Andhra leadership coming from Coastal Andhra, has given rise to uneven development. It emphasized on the major irrigation, whereas the alluvial plains

irrigated by the tanks have remained largely insignificant. This irrigation policy resulted in the destruction of age-old water conservation systems with chains of tank networks. The successive Governments successfully ignored the maintenance and development of tanks and allowed them to face extinction by way of siltation, breaches, encroachments etc. With the extinction of tank system, the self-sufficient villages of Telangana have become drought prone areas.

Today the drought is manifested in every facet of human life and it is particularly so with the rural poor. The exodus of people from rural areas of Telangana to Hyderabad and other far off places has made their lives vulnerable. This has also proliferated the squatter settlements and slums in the urban areas. The Krishna, Godavari, Musi and Manjira rivers traverse through the semi-arid lands of Telangana districts especially Nizamabad, Karimnagar, Medak, Ranga Reddy, Nalgonda and Mahabubnagar. But large quantities of water from these rivers are diverted to subsist the industrial, drinking and other needs of Hyderabad and irrigation needs of Andhra. Otherwise, these rivers would have sufficed and satiated the water needs of these districts. Irrigation policies of A.P. exposed the true colours of regional bias and machinations to promote their interests.

This continuous and policy based discrimination in Irrigation Sector turned Telangana Region into a graveyard of farmers and land of migration. Self-sustained villages of Telangana have become drought prone villages. 80 % farmer suicides that occurred in AP state were from Telangana region and millions of people from 31 Telangana districts migrated to far off places like Mumbai, Bhivandi, Surat, Ahmedabad and Gulf countries as laborers in search of livelihood. 16 lakh population from Mahaboobnagar district alone migrated to far off places. Hence, exploitation of water resources has been one of the major concerns of Telangana movement and people strongly felt that creation of a new state of Telangana, that is, state power alone would fetch them water.

Realizing the importance of reclamation of tanks for growth in the state, the Government of Telangana State has taken up the programme of restoring the minor irrigation sources under the title “Mission Kakatiya” (Mana Ooru – Mana Cheruvu). The mission aims at retrieving the lost glory of minor irrigation in the state with community participation for ensuring sustainable water security.

In July 2014 Irrigation Department, Govt of Telangana has carried out for the first time, the census of Minor Irrigation sources in Telangana, which include M.I tanks constructed and maintained by Irrigation Dept., M.I Tanks constructed by Panchayat Raj Dept. and later transferred to Irrigation Dept., Percolation Tanks, Forest Tanks, Private Kuntas, Anicuts and Check dams. As per the enumeration, the total number of tanks is found to be around 46,531. The irrigation department has planned to restore all the 46,531 minor irrigation sources in the state in next five years, taking up 20% of the tanks each year. The objective of Mission Kakatiya is to enhance the development of agriculture based income for small and marginal farmers, by accelerating the development of minor irrigation infrastructure, strengthening community based irrigation management and adopting a comprehensive programme for restoration of tanks.

  • Expected gains from irrigated area expansion by covering gap ayacut (i.e. part of the planned area of tanks command that is currently not being covered by irrigation).
  • Technology impacts through adoption of resource conservation-cum-production technologies when the project is fully implemented.
  • Diversification to cover irrigated area under high-value and low water intensified crops such as chillies, maize and vegetables.
  • Development of fisheries.
  • Improvement of livestock.
  • Reduction in waterlogged area.
  • Increase in groundwater levels and water quality there by getting the lands beyond command area under bore well irrigation.
  • Power savings due to the reduced need for well irrigation that is currently used to supplement the insufficient tank water.

The following are the works that will be taken up under the programme. a.De-siltation and the use of silt application in the local fields b.Restoration of Feeder Channel to the tank. c.Re-sectioning of Irrigation Channels & Repairs to CM & CD works. d.Repairs to Bund, Weir & Sluices. e.Raising of FTL, wherever possible Procedure that would be used to take up the above works has been discussed in detail in the guidelines issued. The tanks, to be proposed for Ist phase of implementation, are to be identified by the field level Engineers as per the guidelines issued. The survey of tanks and preparation of Estimates for calling up of tenders is under brisk progress.

Sl. No. District Sources finalised as on 18.10.2014 No. of sources to be restored during2014 – 15
1 కరీంనగర్ 5939 1188
2 ఆదిలాబాద్ 3951 790
3 వరంగల్ 5839 1168
4 ఖమ్మం 4517 903
5 నిజామాబాద్ 3251 650
6 మెదక్ 7941 1588
7 Ranga Reddy 2851 570
8 Mahaboobnagar 7480 1496
9 నల్గొండ 4762 952
Total 46531 9306

The Government has formulated certain guidelines for effective and efficient implementation of Mission Kakatiya, emphasizing the need for prioritizing the tanks to be taken up for restoration, works that are to be taken up, tendering and working procedures to be followed etc., The tanks with relatively larger ayacut and that have not been covered under the programmes such as RRR and CBTMP shall initially be taken up for restoration and the rest will be covered in the subsequent years. The prioritization of the tanks will be done in consultation with the people representatives of the respective areas.
The Government has made certain modifications to the financial limits in the powers delegated to the authorities for technical sanction of the works. The modified limits are as follows:

Task Powers delegated to Value in Rs. Lakhs
Iinspection before technical sanction ఎగ్జిక్యూటివ్ ఇంజనీర్ 100
Superintending  Engineer 100-500
ప్రధాన ఇంజనీర్ Above  500
Technical Sanction and Tender Approval ఎగ్జిక్యూటివ్ ఇంజనీర్ 50
Superintending  Engineer 50 to 100
Technical Sanction ప్రధాన ఇంజనీర్ Above 100  & up to AA accorded
Tenders Approval ప్రధాన ఇంజనీర్ 100 to 400
Commissioner of Tenders Above 400

The works under Mission Kakatiya will be taken up under e.procurement process, using the existing platform, renamed as Mission Kakatiya. All the new SEs & EEs shall obtain the digital keys from the APTS for utilization of Mission Kakatiya Platform. In order to encourage local entrepreneurs, financial limit for class V Contractors is enhanced from 10 to­­­ 50 lakhs. A tendering time schedule specific to the works under the programme is as follows:

  ​Sl.No. Process Earlier Present
 1 Calling of Tenders 14 Days 7 Days
2 Acceptance of Tenders 90 Days 7 Days
3 Concluding Agreements 14Days 5 Days
4 Additional security Deposit 25 % 10 %

The Irrigation & CAD department is the chief implementing department. The works will be executed through the Superintending Engineer and the Executive Engineer of the concerned areas, supported by the field engineers i.e., Dy. Executive Engineers and the Assistant Executive Engineers, under overall supervision of the Chief Engineer, Minor Irrigation. The engineers at all the levels will have to be in constant touch with the officials of the line departments to have better coordination.

In all tanks, samples of the silt should be collected to test its suitability for application in agriculture fields and wide publicity should be given to utilize tank bed silt by farmers. b) The farmers should be motivated by the department on the following;

I) Efficient use of available water through change in irrigation system and improved water management techniques.

II) Increase in productivity of farms through suitable cropping pattern and increased cropping intensity.

III) Balanced use of chemical fertilizers and judicious use of plant protection chemicals. IV) Reduction of cultivation cost through introduction of improved implements and equipment.

V) Introduction of high-tech agriculture to increase the farm returns.

I) Effective utilization of tank foreshore areas in selected locations through afforestation.

II) Nursery raising and plantation wherever necessary.

III)Training for maintenance and cultural operations. IV)Planting Silver Oak and Toddy ( Eetha ) trees around the tank boundaries. These activities, apart from reducing silt inflow into the tank, are also expected to create an additional, sustainable income source for the tank community.

(i) Upgrading production practices through improved stocking.

(ii) use of Improved feeding, management and harvesting techniques.

(iii) Intensive fish and prawn cultivation.

  • Identifying the Shikam lands.
  • Determining/demarking the FTL of tank.
  • Identifying the government waste lands for dumping the unproductive soil.

(iv) Cooperating between Revenue and Irrigation depts for removing illegal constructions in tank bed .

(i) Monitor the groundwater levels and quality of groundwater.

(ii)Supply list of over exploited villages to the district Superintending Engineers/Executive Engineers.

The department should converge various other programmes being implemented, with the Mission Kakatiya and coordinate with other line departments whenever and wherever necessary. This being a public programme, the I&PR should play a key role in creating proper awareness among all sections of the people on Mission Kakatiya through different IEC activities.

i.)Create awareness on the benefits of restoration of the tanks by using different types of media and organizing IEC activities like street plays, kalajathas, wall writings, pamphlets and involving rural folklore like Chindu, Voggukathalu etc.,

ii.) Motivate the farmers to utilize the useful silt excavated out of the tanks in their agriculture fields at their cost, by explaining the benefits that come out of it.

iii.) Organize essay and elocution competitions for the students on the topic “tanks and their restoration”, in coordination with the education department, at school, mandal and district levels and award prizes to the winners to encourage them in motivating their parents.

iv.) Involve NCC, NSS, Guides and Scouts and Nehru YuvakKendras etc., in propagating the benefits of the programme.

v.) Involve Public Representatives and SHGs in the programme. It is proposed to encourage Telangana NRIs who aspire for development of their villages to adopt a tank or more. It is also proposed to invite Non Profit & development oriented charity social organizations / NGOs, Corporate organizations to adopt tank(s). Their involvement will be limited to supervision, protection, beautification and maintenance of the tank(s).

• At village level, a Social/people’s organization for each tank is proposed to be constituted to protect the tanks from encroachments and to maintain them properly.

• It is proposed to remove silt every year. Farmers are to be motivated to excavate and dump the silt in their fields for increase in yield of crop and maintaining the tank capacity to its standards.

• Farmers / Public representatives/People are expected to work in this direction. All the above procedures are proposed to be followed under Mission Kakatiya for its successful implementation and for restoration of the minor irrigation sources. This far-sighted programme of the government of Telangana with community participation for ensuring sustainable water security is expected to bear its fruit in the near future and change the face of the state. ​