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Congress leaders discuss PPT presentation on irrigation projects

Hyderabad: As a prelude to the proposed power-point presentation on irrigation projects, Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Saturday held a high-level meeting with senior leaders and experts to seek their views on the issue.

During the discussion, the Congress leaders and experts opined that the power-point presentation of Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao was a bunch of lies and aimed at misleading the people. They said that the Chief Minister’s tried to use his PPT presentation to shield huge irregularities in the execution of irrigation projects. The primary focus of KCR’s presentation was re-designing of projects and the illegal barrages constructed by Karnataka and Maharashtra Government. However, the Chief Minister has failed to explain as to how the re-designing would benefit Telangana. Further, KCR was silent on what the TRS Government would do against the illegal barrages.

The Congress leaders condemned KCR for completely skipping the mention of irrigation projects constructed during the Congress regime. While Kakatiya, Qutb Shahi and Asaf Jahi rulers constructed dams for an ayacut of nearly 5 lakh acres, post-independence, the Congress governments constructed irrigation projects to create an ayacut of nearly 95 lakh acres. “What KCR is proposing to do now is re-design the irrigation projects which serve an ayacut for about 5 lakh acres. Therefore, his promise of 1 crore acres ayacut is based on 95 lakh acres ayacut already created during previous Congress regimes. Instead of completing the pending projects, the TRS Government wants to construct one or two new irrigation projects to stake claim for entire existing irrigation network,” said Uttam Kumar Reddy.

Further, Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that huge irregularities took place in the tender process of Palamuru Ranga Reddy and Pranahita projects and most of them were assigned on nominated basis. He said that the re-designing of projects was in no way helpful to Telangana as they do not add a single acre of ayacut. Instead, their cost was increased abnormally. He also pointed out that the re-designing of projects would make them ineligible to get National Project status. Citing an instance, he said Pranahita project after redesigning would cost about Rs. 83,000 per acre while the estimated income from the ayacut would be about Rs., 38,000 crore. He alleged that the TRS Government was re-designing the projects only to benefit contractors and TRS leaders.

The TPCC chief also accused KCR of compromising on the interest of Telangana by agreeing to reduce the height of Tummidi-Hatti project to 148 Metres from earlier 152 Metres. Further, he said that the re-designing would increase the power consumption by 6,000 MW, which is more than double the actual requirement. “While KCR appears worried about submergence of about 1800 acres of Maharashtra, he seems least about the devastation that Pamulaparti and Turkapally projects would cause in 18 villages of Telangana State,” he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Congress party would nail KCR’s lies and wrong claims through its power-point presentation which is being given final touches by a team of experts and senior Congress leaders.

The meeting was attended by former PCC President Ponnala Lakshmaiah, Lok Sabha MP Nandi Yellaiah, Leader of Opposition in Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir, ex-Deputy CM Damodar Raj Narasimha, PAC Chairman Dr. J. Geetha Reddy, MLAs D.K. Aruna, T. Jeevan Reddy, Vamshi Chandra Reddy, ex-minister D. Sridhar Babu, ex-MLA Marri Sashidhar Reddy, ex-MP G. Vivek, TPCC Chief Spokesperson D. Sravan and other senior leaders. (INN)