Hyderabad: Telangana Irrigation minister N Uttam Kumar Reddy and Deputy chief minister Bhatti Vikarmarka alleged that the BRS government had “misused” public funds due to which irrigation projects in many districts were not completed.
“In particular, many irrigation projects in the erstwhile undivided Khammam district have not been completed even in 10 years,” they said.
Uttam Kumar Reddy, along with Bhatti Vikarmarka, ministers P Srinivas Reddy and Tummala Nageswara Rao, from Khammam district reviewed the works of irrigation projects of Khammam district at Dr BR Ambedkar Secretariat on Friday, January 19.
Addressing a press conference later, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that there was a need to speed up the works of the Sitarama project and other projects in Khammam district.
Heavy corruption in Khammam district projects: Uttam
“Similar to other irrigation projects, there has been heavy corruption in the projects under construction in Khammam district,” he said.
Uttam further remarked that the BRS government has “looted” huge public wealth in the name of irrigation projects.
“Earlier, Raju Dammuguda and Indrasagar were two separate projects, but the BRS government combined these two projects to construct the Sitarama project, but its works have not been completed yet. Thousands of crores of rupees were spent on it,” he added.
The ministers said that former chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had made a “wrong statement” in the Assembly regarding the Sitarama project.
He said that if the BRS government, which came to power in 2014 had spent Rs 1552 crore on these two projects, then these two projects would have been completed in one year to irrigate 4 lakh acres.
“The announcement to build the Sitarama project by combining these two projects was made and nearly Rs 9,000 crore has already been spent on it. However, not even one acre of land was irrigated. The estimate of the Sitarama project was increased to Rs 18,500 crores, which led to massive corruption. The project cost was ultimately raised to Rs 23,000 crore,” he said.
Uttam Kumar Reddy further stated that Rs 1681 crore was sanctioned for the construction of the Dummugudem Rajiv Sagar project during the Congress government and works worth Rs 889 crores were completed.
“Similarly, Rs 1824 crore were sanctioned for the Indira Sagar project and Rs 1,064 crore rupees were spent,” he added.
“After the formation of Telangana, Rs 1,552 crore rupees were allocated for these two projects at the rate of Rs 500 crore per year, and in three years if these projects were completed, they would’ve created an ayacut of 3.30 lakh acres,” he said.
He urged the public to cooperate in addressing this “systematic exploitation” of state resources.
He expressed outrage at the “churning” feeling he experienced witnessing the “financial plunder” orchestrated by the BRS. Uttam Kumar Reddy asserted that this “ill-gotten wealth, derived from taxpayer money, rightfully belonged to the people and should be utilized for their welfare.”
He said when the Indira Sagar project was designed from the confluence of the Godavari and Sabari rivers, “Telangana lost its share of water from this river for 365 days due to the redesign done by the previous government.”
Ministerial visit to Sitharam Sagar in 2-3 days: Uttam
Uttam Kumar Reddy announced that a team of ministers would visit the Sitharam Sagar in two or three days. “The government will discuss the issue in the cabinet and decide on these. We will take action against the officials who did not follow the rules. Actions will be as per law,” he said.
He said not a single drop of water allocation was brought to Telangana during 10 years of BRS rule.
“Not even a single project has applied for national status in the correct format in 10 years. Union minister Gajendra Singh Shakhwat said that national status status is not given anywhere in the country. He said that the previous government was told that the national project status was not being done,” Uttam stated.
Responding to Harish Rao’s statements on ‘combined projects’ with AP, he also clarified that the Congress government of Telangana had not agreed to hand over the projects to the Krishna River Management Board.
“The Center held discussions on the projects on the Krishna River. But the government has yet to respond to it,” he said, adding that BRS leaders, especially former minister Harish Rao were “spreading lies.”
He added that BRS leaders have “no right to talk” about Krishna water. “It is during the BRS regime that the share of Krishna water is reduced,” he added.
He lamented the “wastage of the state’s priceless wealth” under BRS rule, highlighting the current government’s burden of paying Rs 18,000 crore in interest on loans and facing Rs 9,000 crore in unpaid bills from the irrigation department.