Harish Rao invites NRIs to invest in Mission Kakatiya
Irrigation minister T Harish Rao recently impressed upon Telangana NRIs about the State Government’s efforts to irrigate every acre of the agricultural land in the state in the next 3-4 years. He appealed to all Telanganites to be part of Mission Kakatiya. Harish Rao spoke to 715 NRIs living in the US, UK, Australia,
Irrigation minister T Harish Rao recently impressed upon Telangana NRIs about the State Government’s efforts to irrigate every acre of the agricultural land in the state in the next 3-4 years. He appealed to all Telanganites to be part of Mission Kakatiya. Harish Rao spoke to 715 NRIs living in the US, UK, Australia, Singapore and Gulf regions through a phone-in programme organised by the Telangana Development Forum (TDF) USA.
Harish said that Mission Kakatiya, with the tag line, Manavooru, Manacheruvu (Our Village, Our Lake), is one of the illustrious projects for the government. “Lakes in Telangana enjoyed a grand legacy of 1,000 years. They thrived under the Kakatiyas, Quli Qutub Shahis and the Nizams. However, they suffered due to callous attitude of successive governments in the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh affecting people from all walks of life in Telangana.
Mission Kakatiya is being taken up on a war-footing to revive around 45,000 lakes with 9,000 every year until 2019 and with a huge budget of Rs 20,000 crore. These lakes require renovation and repair and should be freed from encroachments in some cases. Once they are restored, they can store around 260 TMC of water and irrigate up to 25 lakh hectares in the state.
Apart from agriculture, the project would provide succor to communities like fishermen, washermen and other artisans, who are greatly dependent on water. It also provides sort of cultural and spiritual identity to the villages,” explained the minister. Harish added that the government was overwhelmed with the response pouring in from various quarters like TJAC andthe four-lakh Telangana NGOs, with the latter donating a day’s salary for the project.
Harish sought to dispel the feelings of most of the NRIs who were unsure if they were welcome to be part of the mission and outlined the modalities for adoption of the lakes. “No project aimed at reconstruction of Telangana is complete without your (NRIs) participation. We welcome you with both hands to be part of this grand project. There is no hard and fast rule as to how much money you (NRIs) should contribute towards this.
The government is willing to name the lakes after the family members of the NRI who donate and adopt them,” said Harish, adding “If needed, we are even willing to open a bank account for the donations to flow in. There will be transparency and accountability in the whole process by way of updating the information with pictures regularly on the government website.”
Harish also promised the NRIs that his department would maintain a close coordination with them through calls and emails. He reiterated his government’s commitment of giving safe drinking water to all villages and towns in Telangana. “There is no doubt about that. We stand by his (CM’s) words that we won’t go to next elections without keeping that promise.”