Uttam sees BRS-BJP nexus in Kaleshwaram

Uttam sees BRS-BJP nexus in Kaleshwaram

Questions Jal Shakti Advisor’s stance on project

Hyderabad: The comments made by the Advisor to the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti and Chairman of Task Force on Interlinking of Rivers Vedire Sriram that the CWC had not given any permission to the Kaleshwaram project stirred a new controversy.

Irrigation Minister N Uttam Kumar Reddy said if that was the case how did the Centre stand guarantee for loans to the Kaleshwaram project. This indicates that till the BRS went out of power, the BJP had some understanding with the BRS. This the Congress has been alleging all through, he said.

Uttam also denied the allegations of Sriram that this government did not provide information and documents on Kaleshwaram. He said it was the Congress government that sought a probe by the NDSA into the project works and assured full cooperation in the investigation.

He said the previous BRS government was responsible for the shortcomings in the design, planning and construction of the Kaleshwaram project. He said the previous government compromised in quality and safety of the project for commissions at the expense of the future of farmers.

In an informal chat with the media on Friday, Uttam said the loss caused to the state by former chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and his son K T Rama Rao was around Rs 1 lakh crore. Unfortunately, there was no provision to collect this money from the two leaders directly and the state would have to repay the loans from the public exchequer, he averred.

On the issue of repairs to the Medigadda barrage, Uttam said the government would take up the works once the NDSA submits its report. He said they were expecting the NDSA to submit a preliminary report in a month. Meanwhile, his department was looking into the modalities of supplying water to farmers during the ensuing Kharif season.

Giving details of loans taken by the previous government, he said nearly Rs 1 lakh crore loan was taken from the Power Finance Corporation (PFC) and Rural Electrification Corporation (REC) for the Kaleshwaram project.

Uttam made an interesting observation when he said that the construction of the Medigadda barrage was done by the L&T company and there were no sub-contractors. The L&T had raised bills of Rs 400 crore for the Medigadda project and the government had put them on hold.

He charged the BRS of making malicious statements saying the CWC had stated that there was no water in the Tummadihatti project. On the contrary, he said, the CWC had indicated that there was 160 TMC in Tummadihatti. He said it has nothing to do with the NDSA probe and the Congress government will keep up its promise to complete the project.

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