CM KCR presentation on irrigation projects in Assembly

Twenty months after he had taken over the reins as first CM of the newly-formed TS, K Chandrashekar Rao rolled out his plan on the irrigation sector using Google Earth, LCD screens and a laptop in the State Legislative Assembly on Thursday.

The CM spoke non-stop highlighting how Telangana region of the erstwhile combined AP state had been neglected by the then rulers and what the need was for “redesigning and reengineering” irrigation projects in the context of the region emerging as a separate state.

Here are excerpts:

One Crore Acres
We are committed to provide irrigation water to one crore acres of land in the next five years. All the ongoing projects, except SLBC, will be completed by June 2017. At the most, a majority of irrigation projects will be completed in three years.

No Corruption
We have suspended the earlier EPC system and giving mobilisation advances to contractors. I assure that there will be no corruption in the construction of irrigation projects.

All the irrigation projects planned in TS by erstwhile AP rulers were not intended to provide water. They took up projects which landed in inter-state controversies and or environmental issues. SLBC and Dummugudem are examples of how AP rulers hoodwinked TS. The then CM YS Rajasekhara Reddy, after completing Pulichintala and Pothireddypadu and using all waters in the Krishna, wanted to use Godavari waters for Andhra Pradesh. That is why he took up the Polavaram project. To pacify the separate TS agitators, who opposed Polavaram, YS Rajasekhara Reddy announced Pranahita-Chevella which again landed in disputes.

When Maharashtra opposed construction of Tummadi Hatti barrage as part of Pranahita-Chevella, the YSR government ordered for motors and dug some canals without constructing headworks. As the Maharashtra Chief Minister Fadnavis opposed submergence in his state under Tummadi Hatti, the barrage height was reduced from the proposed 152 to 148 metres. At 148 metres, TS can use 30 to 40 tmcft of water there. The remaining share of Telangana from the Godavari can be taken from Medigadda.

Water Availability
The water availability at Tummadi Hatti as per 47 years of average is 1,144.8 tmcft. At the place, where the Indravati joins the Godavari, the water availability is 2,430 tmcft. That is why we have planned to construct Kaleshwaram. We can draw 3 tmcft daily from Medigadda. In case, the south Telangana districts faced scracity of Krishna water, Godavari water can be diverted to the Krishna basin.

450 Barrages
Maharashtra, Karnataka and even Madhya Pradesh constructed around 450 barrages across the Krishna, Godavari and its tributaries like Penganga, Poorna, Pravara, Bhima and Panchaganga. As a result, AP and TS are not getting water. For the first time, Singur has dried up this year. However, we can tap the water of Indravati which has virgin catchment. That is why Medigadda is being taken up.

Google Maps:
These smaller barrages constructed by the upper riparian states can store 1 to 3 tmcft. But, the details of these projects are not available even with the Central Water Commission (CWC). No one can stop construction of these small barrages. But, what is the fate of TS? We have only one source. That is Indravati.

My Family Dislocated
When the Upper Mannair project was constructed, my father lost 3,000 acres of land. I am also a member of the family of oustees. I know the plight of oustees. All the farmers will be given fair package and three cheques for compensation and constructing a house will be given. In Mahbubnagar and Nalgonda districts alone 20,000 acres of land has been acquired with the consent of farmers after formation of TS.

The huge lifts for irrigation projects in need of power supply every year which costs `8,000 to `10,000 crore. The state is already giving `4,000-crore power subsidy to free power. The state can bear the amount every year on power to operate lifts.

Source: The New Indian Express

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