In the industrial sector, the manifesto promised to reconstruct Azamjahi Mill at Warangal and it talked of forming an industrial corridor from Hyderabad to Warangal. It promised to resurrect Nizam Sugars. Even in respect of industrial investments Telangana is lagging far behind Andhra Pradesh state. Its promise of laying cement road in every street and drainage in every area, also remained a mirage. Its promise of transferring many powers to local self- government bodies also proved to be hollow.
The promises relating to provision of irrigation in one lakh acres in each assembly segment and the agitation to change the design of Polavaram project remained uninitiated. During 2014-2018 3,500 farmers committed suicide in over four - year rule of TRS. And despite this KCR did not provide the farmers whole MSP to their various agriculture commodities.
The much- touted promise of introducing KG to PG free compulsory education remained a non-starter and KCR’s zeal in encouraging English as medium of education in the schools of Telangana disappointed many Telugu language lovers. One feels that our Telugu is being lost before our own eyes and we are offering no real resistance. When our language loses meaning our thinking in turn becomes muddled. Higher education is in doldrums in Telangana state. Some universities have no vice chancellor even today.
The manifesto contained a proposal to complete 10 new thermal plants providing employment to one lakh persons. It also said from the third year of KCR rule 5400 MW capacity power plants will come to fruition. And because of shortage of power in Telangana a few months after KCR becoming chief minister his government entered into an agreement with Chhattisgarh state for the supply of 1000MW power at the rate of over rupees 5 crore per MW, for a period of 10 years. But when Chhattisgarh delayed supply of power by more than a year and then demanded rupees 7-8 crores per MW, saying that in the interregnum the cost of generation has risen enormously.
Initially Telangana GENCO raised objections that the revised rates are cost-prohibitive.The matter was referred by Chhattisgarh government to their Electricity Regulatory Authority. The ERA ruled in favour of new rates. And peeved at these unwanted development, the then principal secretary-Energy of Telangana government, Aravind Kumar wrote to the government that Telangana will incur a loss of Rs 800 crore per month, in view of the increased rates. And over a period of 10 years of agreement how much Telangana will be put to loss can be worked out and it will surely be a staggering amount.
Even a year back Telangana GENCO invited short term tender for supply of power from some Andhra power producers and the agreed price was Rs 3.86 per unit. At the same time the state of Andhra Pradesh bought power at the rate of Rs 3.52 per unit. Later the Telangana GENCO converted the short-term tender into long term by making the power producer nominally reduce the per unit price by 8paise.The overall loss to the state exchequer on account of this is estimated to be Rs 7000 crore. Now we can imagine at what high cost we are getting 24-hour power supply to our homes and farms. Because of this the power tariff in Telangana is highest in the country.
While most villages in Telangana had protected drinking water supply facility, KCR came up with an ambitious scheme called Mission Bhagiratha at an astounding cost of over Rs 45,000 crore to supply piped water for every household in every village. The contract for this huge project was allotted to an Andhra engineering company. Not only this even the work on Rs 95,000 crore, Kaleswaram project and related works was given to same Andhra engineering company and it is alleged that KCR got large amounts of money running into thousands of crores as consideration money from these Andhra contractors. To cover up many such shady deals KCR’s administration became a personalised, authoritarian rule.
Though he got only 33 per cent of polled votes with 63 seats in the assembly in 2014 elections, he is behaving as if he enjoys a special authority derived directly from the popular will. What does this post-independence Nizam mean for Telangana is being felt by the helpless citizenry. To cover up his arch centralisation of power and amassment of tons of money KCR introduced a number of welfare schemes with an eye on getting the votes of beneficiaries. This massive deception of the people by the KCR school of falsification should note an old proverb, which says that trust arrives on feet but leaves on a horse back.
(Chennamaneni Rajeshwarao - The author is a senior journalist)