Devineni Uma Maheswara Rao slams YSRCP government over reduction in Polavaram dam height

Devineni Uma Maheswara Rao slams YSRCP government over reduction in Polavaram dam height

Alleges that CM Jagan is colluding with his TS counterpart and acting against the interests of AP farmers

Mangalagiri: Former Minister and senior TDP leader Devineni Uma Maheswara Rao on Friday strongly objected to the YSRCP government's plan to reduce the height of Polavaram Project from 45.72 metres to 41.15 metres in utter disregard for the long-standing water needs of all the 5 crore people of the State.

He demanded that the government retain the dam height at 150 ft as per the previous design so that it would be possible for storing 194 tmcft of water. A higher level dam would also help in the grand plan to interlink various rivers in the State in order to augment both irrigation and drinking water to every nook and corner of the State from North Andhra to Rayalaseema.

Addressing a press conference here, Uma deplored that the Jagan Mohan Reddy's regime was hell bent on destroying the original design of Polavaram just to get short-term political gains without foreseeing the future problems for the people. The reduction of dam height was proposed with the ulterior motive to decrease the burden of compensation package to the project evacuees from Rs 27,000 crore to Rs 3,500 crore. If this happens, it would cause permanent harm to the water rights of AP people for all generations to come.

Uma recalled that the previous Chandrababu Naidu government convinced the Central government and got approval from the Union Jal Shakti Ministry, the Technical Advisory Committee and the Central Water Commission for an estimated cost of Rs 55,548 crore. But now Jagan and his Lok Sabha 22 MPs were not doing anything to safeguard the interests of AP farmers and people by fighting with the Centre on Polavaram funds.

On the other hand, Vijayasai Reddy and other YSRCP MPs went on a special flight to New Delhi only to get the Centre to act against their party rebel MP. Jagan Reddy was extending his support to the BJP in Rajya Sabha only to save himself from his cases but not to get Polavaram funds, he said.

Expressing doubts over Jagan Reddy's secret deals, Uma said that the CM of the neighbouring State (TS) K Chandrashekar Rao said on the floor of his State Assembly itself that Polavaram dam height should be reduced and that AP was also favourable for that. "Now, it became clear how Jagan Reddy was colluding with the neighbouring State to harm the interests of AP farmers," Uma said. The AP CM's lack of commitment reflected in the fact that he was not addressing a single press conference on Polavaram or any other major issue since he came to power, he added.

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