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Call for proper utilisation of irrigation funds

Call for proper utilisation of irrigation funds
Highlights

Suggestions: Identify works requiring small funds first Allocate funds to projects nearing completion...

kista reddySuggestions:

  • Identify works requiring small funds first
  • Allocate funds to projects nearing completion
  • Lack of prioritisation hitting welfare schemes

Hyderabad: Welfare measures aimed at socio-economic development and important infrastructure development projects were being deprived due to allocation of huge funds to major irrigation projects from the budget without proper planning, said P Kista Reddy, chairman of irrigation departmentally related standing committee (DRSC).

Kista Reddy showed the government how to spend the budget funds to various departments including irrigation. The DRSC committee headed by him studied the funds allocated to the irrigation budget and made valuable suggestions to the government. "The government should strictly adhere to the basic principles of budgeting especially to accuracy in preparing estimates and realistic expenditure," he said in the irrigation demands and grants DRSC report.

The committee suggested the government to complete 28 Jalayagnam projects, where the progress of works was more than 75 per cent and where large amounts of funds had already been incurred by giving priority to critical gaps. "These 28 projects would be completed with meagre release of funds. But, the government has been ignoring such allocations and allocating huge amounts to the other major projects which would take several years time for completion," the report said. Interestingly, huge funds being allocated to these major projects are not being spent completely.

It suggested the government to adopt a balance approach towards different components of project works and evolve holistic strategy for deriving targeted benefit. Kista Reddy's DRSC made another valid point to the government by asking it to complete the works contemplated under first phase of a project and also ensure satisfactory functioning of that part of the system at the first instance before going ahead with works proposed in the second phase. It also recommended the government to give top priority to the completion of critical gaps in the works, since it would give sooner results.

The committee recommended the department to take up the works linking of Nagavali left main canal from Korukonda distributor to Vonigadda canal since it provided irrigation to an ayacut of around 3,000 acres and drinking water facility to the entire nearby mandals with an expenditure of Rs 7 crore only.

Irrigation DRSC cited the progress of 28 irrigation projects, which would be completed with the release of a few crores. Komaram Bheem Project would be completed with the meagre release of Rs 34.72 crore, Gundlakama Project with Rs 15.74 crore, Choutapally LIS with Rs 11.44 crore and Kinnerasani Canals with Rs 4.95 crore. The irrigation officials should identify the works which require fewer funds and yield high results and they should be given priority.

Interestingly, DRSC on irrigation discussed department demands and grants for 18 hours and made valid recommendations to the irrigation officials. The DRSC found fault with the meagre allocation of funds to the modernisation projects of Godavari, Krishna and Pennar delta and Nagarjuna Sagar project systems. On rehabilitation and resettlement to the displaced families, the Committee recommended to the government to adopt human approach to the maximum extent.

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