Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao on Thursday assured farmers in North Telangana districts that the Sriram Sagar Project (SRSP), which was given up for dead by the erstwhile Seemandhra rulers in the undivided State, would be revived in less than a year.
Addressing a mammoth public meeting at Pochampad village after laying the foundation for the Rs 1,000 crore scheme, he said the scheme would be implemented with the same commitment that was demonstrated during the fight for Telangana statehood.
He recalled that his resolve to fight for separate Telangana had stemmed from the utter neglect that Sriram Sagar project was subjected to in the undivided State.
The Chief Minister said he was pained to find the project in a state of disrepair when he visited it in 1996. The kind of special attention paid to Nagarjuna Sagar project, which was meant to provide water to Seemandhra region, was missing when it came to SRSP and other Telangana projects, he said.
Trigger for stir
“That very day, I made it clear to friends who had accompanied me to the project site that development would remain a far cry in Telangana region as long as we remained under the Seemandhra rulers,” he recalled.
That is how the Seemandhra rulers looked at Telangana projects and problems, and hence the fight for a separate Telangana State, he asserted.
The Chief Minister stated that SRSP designed to extend irrigation to over 14 lakh acres never supported more than 5.5 lakh acres. Such a poor water yield from a major irrigation project was due to the fact that it was not on the priority list of the rulers of the day. “For that matter, no Telanagana project figured in the agenda of the previous regimes,” he said.
The project for which the first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, laid the foundation stone in 1963 and which was inaugurated later by his daughter, late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, failed to quench the thirst of the people of the State.
He said the Lakshmi Canal and Saraswathi Canal of the project would be back in their original shape in a record time. By next June or July, the SRSP project would be filled with Godavari water. By February next, the project storage would be built up to 90 tmc. The SRSP flood flow canal would never go dry hereafter, the Chief Minister said. Farmers in Nizamabad, Nirmal, Mancherial, and Jagitial would be able to grow two crops a year from next June, he said.
The Chief Minister said the projects taken up by the erstwhile rulers were not meant for giving water.
“They were of little use for farmers of the State. But the injustice meted out to Telangana would not last long. Even God would not tolerate it. There was bound to be a backlash in the form of a revolution. The scorn for the rulers of the day paved the way for the fight for statehood. It gave me a great sense of fulfillment and immense pleasure to lay the foundation stone for the SRSP revival scheme after achieving Telangana statehood,” he said.
Live water storage
Many people have no proper understanding about the SRSP flood flow canal, he said, adding that once the revival scheme is completed, the 110 km stretch of the flood flow canal will have live water storage all year round. It would also support promotion of aquatic life and pisciculture. The picturesque locales of the project would be a visual treat and will help promote tourism as well, he said.
The Chief Minister took a dig at the Congress, stating that as many as 96 cases were filed by the party against the Kaleshwaram project. There were obstacles at every stage for the State government to implement the projects, he said.
The hurdles facing Kondapochamma reservoir that was coming up as part of the Kaleshwaram project was a live example, he said. The farmers came forward to give land, and of the 4,600 acres of land sought to be acquired for the project, 4,510 acres of land was already acquired and only 100 acres was pending, he said.
The Chief Minister said the Congress was deliberately targeting irrigation projects in a bid to scuttle the progress of works. He exhorted the people committed to development of the State to grill the parties that were out to stall these projects.
Source: Telangana Today