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Shabbir Ali seeks Centre’s intervention on Mallanna Sagar issue

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Leader of Opposition in Telangana State Legislative Council Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Thursday sought the intervention of Central Government to end the impasse over Mallanna Sagar issue.

“Although the construction of reservoirs or irrigation projects is a State subject, the Central Government cannot remain a mute spectator to the sufferings of thousands of poor farmers and villagers who would be displaced due to unscientific approach by the State Government,” Shabbir Ali said in his letter to Union Minister for Water Resources Uma Bharathi. He alleged that the Telangana Government has re-designed the projects only to escalate their costs. “The State Government is behaving in such an arrogant manner that it has not placed the DPRs in public domain to seek objections and suggestions from the people and their elected representatives,” he alleged.

Accusing the Centre of neglecting Telangana, Shabbir Ali said so far, not a single project of Telangana has been accorded the status of national project. He urged the Union Minister to furnish the details of all projects of Telangana for which financial assistance has been sought by the State Government.

Shabbir Ali also wrote a separate letter to Irrigation Minister T. Harish Rao asking him to make public the DPRs of all irrigation projects, including Mallanna Sagar. “It is quite disheartening to note that some decisions taken by the State Government has pushed our Telangana State in utter chaos. People, who made lot of sacrifices and struggle to achieve statehood for Telangana, are today subjected to harassment, torture and lathicharge for refusing to part with what they legally own since generations. With specific reference to the outsees of Mallanna Sagar project, I would like to draw your attention to the confusion that prevails among thousands of farmers who fears eviction due to so-called re-designing of irrigation projects by the State Government,” he said.

The Congress leader asked Harish Rao to take immediate steps to end the prevailing chaotic atmosphere in the State. Stating that there was no mention of Re-settlement and Rehabilitation in GO MS NO.123, he asked the minister to give a detailed clarification. “People have a right to know and understand the implications of irrigation projects. The DPRs are not classified documents, unless notified so by the government. The projects are meant for the people and it will be against the spirit of democracy to implement a project by snatching the livelihood of thousands of farmers,” he said.

Shabbir Ali also asked whether Mallanna Sagar and other projects got necessary approvals from the Central Water Commission (CWC) as the Centre does not fund projects that lack CWC approval.  “The State Government owes an explanation to the people of Telangana on the current chaos related to Mallanna Sagar and other projects. Entire Telangana struggle was based on people’s right to their share in land, water, jobs and other resources. No political party, including the ruling TRS, is empowered to encroach upon people’s rights just to satisfy their political ego,” he said.

Meanwhile, speaking to media persons at Gandhi Bhavan, Shabbir Ali condemned  the government for invoking Section 30A of Police Act to suppress agitation by the outsees of Mallanna Sagar in Medak district. He alleged that the Telangana State, under TRS rule, was under ‘undeclared Emergency’ wherein neither the affected farmers nor the opposition parties were being allowed even to register their protest. (INN)

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