The BRS government which has been relentlessly pursuing clearance from the Central government for the Palamuru Ranga Reddy Lift Irrigation (PRLIS) Scheme has finally succeeded in its efforts. The 49th meeting of the Environment Appraisal Committee of the Union Environment and Forest Ministry on June 24 has recommended to the Jal Shakti ministry to accord permission to the project. It was a prolonged battle against the hurdles and legal obstacles that the Telangana government tackled persistently.
Of the 21 packages under the project, as many as 18 works under Phase I pertaining to the provision of drinking water to 1,226 villages in 16 Assembly constituencies were on the verge of completion. The works will help fill 1,546 tanks and small water bodies. Following the review of ongoing works by CM Mr KCR, the officials speeded up the works on approach channels, pumphouses, surge pools, tunnels, reservoirs and canals.
In Phase II, the state government will be taking up the rest of the works that envisage irrigating 12.30 lakh acres of drought-prone Mahabubnagar and Ranga Reddy districts. It comes as a great succour to the parched lands of Mahabubnagar district – a long cherished dream of the farmers. Chief Minister Mr K ChandrasHekhar Rao expressing his delight at the development described the EPAC clearance as a historic win for the Telangana government. It only proved the strong commitment of the BRS government towards the farming sector and the welfare of farmers. “The clearance to PRLIS fulfils the decades-old dream of farmers of the state,” he said.
The Central government that has been biased towards Telangana has at one time set aside the issue of according permission to PRLIS. However, the determined BRS government encouraged the officials to follow up on the issue without any complacency. The engineering experts and bureaucrats have been putting forward their arguments but the EPAC had been asking for more details again and again. The principal secretary of the irrigation department, Mr Rajat Kumar put forward the final arguments before the 49th meeting of the EPAC and impressed upon the committee how important the project is for the farming community in Telangana.
It will be another lifeline for the farmers in another corner of the state. It would cater to the long-awaited drinking water of the people and the cattle in the region. It would also address the prolonged drought conditions. It would not in any way affect the environment negatively, he apprised the committee. Following the recommendation for formal clearance to the PRLIS to the Central government, the BRS ministers, MPs, MLAs and other important functionaries and officials are in a jubilant mood.
By Gollapudi Srinivasa Rao