NIZAMABAD: Reiterating that restoration of lakes was on top on his government’s agenda, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Thursday urged lawmakers to camp near water bodies to oversee the Mission Kakatiya works in their respective constituencies.
“If we have a good monsoon this year, drought will not stare at us for the next three years. Let us prepare to retain water,” he said in a clarion call to farmers across the State after launching the government’s ambitious Mission Kakatiya programme. Wielding a crowbar himself, the Chief Minister removed silt at Pathacheruvu in Sadasivanagar village, Nizamabad district, before carrying it on his head in a wooden basket to deposit it in a tractor.
Explaining the importance of Mission Kakatiya, KCR recalled that Telangana had a network of over 80,000 lakes nearly 1000 years ago during the reign of the Kakatiyas. The Qutb Shahis and the Nizams too ensured that minor irrigation system prospered by irrigating 16 lakh acres through it, he explained.
“But in the last 60 years, under the watch of Andhra rulers, the lakes have been neglected to the point of extinction. Now, we are left with a little over 46,000 lakes in the State. It is time Telangana rises to restore lakes, because resurrection of a lake means holistic development of a village,” he said. Stressing that there would be no scope for corruption in Mission Kakatiya, KCR said the government was inviting tenders online. Of the 46,531 lakes in the State, 9,573 would get a facelift this year, he added.
He directed officials to identify contractors, who had earlier participated in lake restoration works and produced sub-standard results. “Let the district administration identify and blacklist such contractors. We will send them to jail,” he warned.
Hitting out at Congress MLCs Shabbir Ali and D Srinivas, who hail from the district, he advised, “Do not make a fuss by simply criticising the government. Participate in development works and if possible, give us good suggestions.”