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Megha Engineering & Infrastructures Ltd (MEIL) is a $5bn multi-sector infrastructure company from India taking giant strides globally.

Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanthi ( HNSS )
Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanthi ( HNSS )

Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanthi

The MEIL, which made a name in executing massive lift irrigation projects, has designed and successfully implemented the Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanthi ( HNSS ) project, the longest canal project in the region. This infuses a new lease of life into the barren lands and quenches the thirst of the people of Rayalaseema in Andhra Pradesh.

Upland areas of Rayalaseema suffered from severe drought conditions, and acute water scarcity, mainly due to lack of rains and the absence of irrigation facilities for several decades. Despite the River Krishna flows abutting the Rayalaseema region, this region has remained in severe drought owing to a lack of consistent water flow.

The company proved that even upland areas of the Rayalaseema region in the Anantapur and Chittoor districts could be irrigated by the Krishna water. The company successfully executed this lift irrigation project, Handri-Neeva, in Andhra Pradesh.

River Handri is in the Kurnool district, and the River Neeva is in the Chittoor district. But, sufficient water is not available in both rivers to fulfil the region's needs. The HNSS was built by digging a canal and building a pump house to connect the two rivers. 

The project was completed by establishing pump houses to lift required water from river Krishna at Malyal in the Kurnool district.  In two phases, 43 pump houses were built, and 289 pumping units were installed. With the successful execution of the project in the stipulated time, it has once again proved itself as a master builder of mega lift irrigation projects.

Generally, the capacity of machines in pump houses is measured in horsepower. However, the capacity of the high-powered machines used in HNSS is measured in megawatts.

Nowhere else, even in the USA or China, has these many pump houses powered by a lift irrigation scheme. California State Water Project, and Colorado-Big Thompson Water Project, considered the largest projects, also have only six to 11 pumping stations. 

Compared to these projects, the HNSS pump houses are more in number and capacity. Presently, Kaleshawaram Lift Irrigation Project in Telangana alone has pumping stations with a much bigger capacity.

As part of the first phase, the company completed the construction of 12 crucial pump houses in 2012 and successfully pumped water to a height of 200 meters. In the second phase, water is lifted from the Jeedipally reservoir to meet the irrigation and drinking water needs of the Anantapur, Kadapa, and Chittoor districts, and over 6.25 lakh acres and over 35 lakh people in 437 villages in 81 zones benefited. 

Never before was water pumped to a 565-km-long canal. The company executed this scheme to provide water to upland areas like Madakasira, Hindupuram, Kadiri, Rayachoti, Madanapalle, Punganur, and Kuppam, located in the upland areas of Rayalaseema.

In the second phase of the HNSS, the company completed the lift system to lift water from the Jeedipally reservoir to the Madakasira branch canal, aimed at irrigating more than four lakh acres of land in Anantapur, Kadapa, and Chittoor districts. 19 pump houses were constructed to irrigate 74,000 acres of land in Penukonda, Hindupur, and Madakasira Assembly constituencies. Water is pumped through the Jeedipally pump house to 18 pump houses built along the 155 km length of the Madakasira branch canal. The MEIL installed 81 pump machines in L1 to L17 and L4A pump houses on the Madakasira branch canal.

Project status: Completed