Almost 140 days after Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao gave a presentation in Assembly on irrigation project, the Congress party on Wednesday gave its reply through a detailed power point presentation.
In a three-hour long detailed Power Point Presentation titled “Telangana Vastava Jala Drushyam” at Ravi Narayan Reddy Auditorium near Lotus Pond, TPCC president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao’s presentation in Assembly on irrigation projects on March 30 was full of lies. He said that the Congress party conducted a thorough and in-depth research on the claims made by KCR and found them to be false, hollow and complete farce. He challenged the Chief Minister to prove how he would create a new Ayacut of 1 crore acres in Telangana State.
Making the presentation in the presence of national leaders including AICC General Secretary Digvijay Singh, AICC Secretary R.C. Khuntia, former Union Minister S. Jaipal Reddy and others, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the TRS Government has initiated the process of irrigation tenders worth nearly Rs. 1.50 lakh crore without even having the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of any of the projects. He said that country’s biggest irrigation scam was happening in Telangana in the guise of re-designing the projects.
Citing examples, he said that the cost of Palamuru-Rangareddy project was increased from Rs. 35,200 Crore to Rs. 50,985 Crore in a span of just three months. “During budget session in March this year, Irrigation Minister Harish Rao has mentioned the cost as Rs. 35,200 Crore. By June, the cost was increased to Rs. 47,650 Crore and the next month it was escalated to Rs. 50,985 Crore. Increase in project cost by Rs. 15,785 crore in a span of three months without clearly indicates towards a scam. Similarly, he said there at least seven single tenders in Palamuru-Ranga Reddy project which had a cumulative worth of Rs. 7,424.58 Crore. Likewise, works worth Rs. 7,300 Crore were awarded to some contractors on nomination basis, he said.
Uttam Kumar Reddy accused the TRS Government of pushing the State into a debt-crisis while misusing existing resources. Complaining of lack of transparency in projects being executed by the TRS Government, he claimed that the previous Congress Government consulted all opposition parties and other stake holders before taking major decisions. He said that the production of food grains was on the decline due to wrong policies of TRS Government. The food grains production in Telangana in 1955-56 was 13.78 Lakh Tonnes. It increased to 57.99 in 2003-2004 and touched 107.49 MTs in 2013-14. During the last year of Congress Rule in 2014-15, it was 72.18. However, it decreased to 49.35 in 2015-16.
Quoting official statistics, Uttam Kumar Reddy claimed that the Congress party had already created an Ayacut of over 98 lakh acres in Telangana. “Of 283 lakh acres of land in Telangana, the cultivable area, according to KCR, is around 111 lakh acres. By promising irrigation facilities to 1 crore acres of land, KCR is trying to create an illusion that his government would be achieving this goal from scratch. He lied on existing irrigation facilities and did not take into account the settled Ayacut created during previous Congress regimes and also did not mention anything about the pending irrigation projects. As per official figures, the total Ayacut in Telangana, as on 2004, was 47 lakh acres. The Congress regime from 2004 to 2014 initiated several projects to add an ayacut of 51.47 lakh acres,” he claimed.
Therefore, in order to reach the full irrigation potential of 111 Lakh Acres, the TRS Government just need to add about 10-13 lakh acres. For this, KCR wants to spend a whopping amount of Rs. 1.50 lakh. By doing so, he wants to take entire credit for 98.47 lakh acres of Ayacut created by Congress party. This is nothing but smart trickery, he alleged.
The TPCC chief lashed out at the Chief Minister for not releasing funds to complete the pending projects. He said that the government needs to spend just Rs. 8,971.28 crore to complete several projects in 8 districts of Telangana. The Congress Government had already spent Rs. 21,179.82 crore on these projects. Release of remaining Rs. 8,971.28 crore would immediately create an Ayacut of 29,80,277 across the Telangana State. Of Rs. 38,500 Crore for Pranahita-Chevella Project, the Congress Government had already spent Rs. 7,849 crore. Nearly 22% of the works were also completed. But TRS Government has stalled the project in the name of re-designing,” he said.
“Each and every person in Telangana should be provided drinking water and each and every acre of land must get irrigation facility. We will support all genuine initiatives. However, we will not allow any misappropriation in the name of re-designing,” he said. He also gave a detailed explanation on how KCR misled the Assembly and people of Telangana with his ‘irrigation, illogical and insane’ approach towards irrigation sector.
TPCC Chief Spokesperson Dr Sravan Dasoju gave the remaining part of PPT on irrigation projects.