India is an agrarian country where a large chunk of the population depends on agriculture and allied sectors. An assured irrigation facility will help the farmer move from dependence on erratic rains in the semi-arid tropics. Interlinking and lifting rivers and constructing dams will help farmers convert subsistence farming into a profitable venture. The MEIL has undertaken this mission with the help of progressive state governments. It has won accolades for supporting agriculture and its allied sectors to achieve self-sufficiency in food production.
At the forefront
The infrastructure company is at the forefront of agricultural development in the country. It is executing major irrigation projects to help farmers reap bumper crops. The company has completed extremely complicated projects in time by bringing in advanced, state-of-the-art technology coupled with dedicated management.
The company has transformed itself into a global engineering and infrastructure giant by successfully executing massive lift irrigation projects and linking rivers with utmost ease in the past three decades. In addition, it has set a record by undertaking the country's first river-linking project by linking five rivers with in-house know-how.
It has built and dedicated many lift irrigation projects to the nation, including the world’s largest multi-stage lift irrigation project, the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP), completing it in record time.
The KLIP is an engineering marvel. It houses the world’s largest underground pump house. Envisaging lifting of a maximum of 2 TMC water daily. The project has 120 machines (a pump and a motor in each machine) installed in 17 pump houses. Out of this, the company has installed 104 machines across 11 pump houses. Similarly, it has built the Gayatri Pump House, another underground megastructure to lift 2 tmc ft of water daily. It is considered a wonder. The pump house has seven units, each 139 MW capacity.
The company created a record of sorts by linking and lifting the Rivers Narmada-Kshipra and Simhasta in Madhya Pradesh, in Andhra Pradesh, linking the Penna and the Krishna for the Muchumarri project; and linking the River Godavari with the Krishna in the Pattisam project. The Purushothapatnam Lift project, and linked the River Godavari with the Yeleru reservoir.
Asia's largest drip irrigation project
Asia's largest Drip Irrigation project in Bagalkot, Karnataka, was executed by the company in technical collaboration with the Israeli firm Netafim. Water is delivered directly into agricultural fields, saving this precious resource from being wasted. The company laid a 2,150-km-long pipeline and filters the extraneous material flowing in the backwaters of the River Krishna before supplying water to the crops.
Other major irrigation projects in Karnataka being executed are the Singatalur drip irrigation project, Gundal, Kittur, Ettinahole, Ramnagara-Sathegala, Tarikere drip, and Hunur.
Drought mitigation in Gujarat
The novel Saurashtra Narmada Avtaran Irrigation (SAUNI) Yojana, undertaken by the Gujarat government, aims to provide drinking and irrigation water to the drought-prone Saurashtra region of Gujarat. There are seven machines installed in the main pump house.
The plan was to fill in 10 dams with water from the river Narmada, and water sourced from the Sardar Sarovar dam will be used to fill 115 dams through four links. Instead of canals, pipelines were laid, to avoid land acquisition issues. The 1,115-km pipeline irrigates 36 lakh acres in the Saurashtra region.
The Kutch Branch Canal (KBC), part of the Sardar Sarovar Project on the River Narmada in Gujarat is another project executed. The MEIL constructed three pumping stations to lift water to a height of 60 metres. Around seven lakh (7,00,000) acres abutting 182 villages were irrigated by this project.
Mark in Madhya Pradesh
In Madhya Pradesh, the company completed the Khargone project in three phases, irrigating 82,850 acres. Over 18,536 farmer families in 152 villages benefitted from the project.
The company undertook the construction of many lift irrigation projects under the EPC mode -- Veligonda, Polavaram Reservoir, Devadula, Sitarama, Udaya Samudram, and Kalisindh.