'Telangana Odisha Objections on Polavaram Untenable'
VISAKHAPATNAM: Even as Telangana MPs, along with their Odisha counterparts, are gearing up to oppose the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha,BJP Andhra Pradesh state president and Visakhapatnam MP K Haribabu has said that the Polavaram project cannot be stopped at this juncture as the government has already spent over Rs 5,200 crore and the project will be completed on priority basis. He argued that the construction of the project is as per the design approved by the Central Water Commission (CWC) and any objections to the design should be dealt with the commission on technical grounds but not with political ambitions.
Amid allegations that the BJP government has bulldozed the Parliamentarians from Telangana and Odisha to get the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation (Amendment) Bill passed in the Lok Sabha, Haribabu said that the amendments were made as per Article 3 of the Indian Constitution as in the case of the state bifurcation by the UPA government. “If the amendment to the bill is unconstitutional as claimed by Telangana leaders, the formation of Telangana state itself should be considered unconstitutional,” he argued. He called the objections raised by the Telangana leaders on the Polavaram project as unfortunate and untenable. He wanted the political parties in the neighbouring states to stop creating unnecessary hurdles and cooperate with the government for the greater good.
Following the demands from the Telangana and Odisha MPs for change in the design, Haribabu said that political leaders are not irrigation experts so they should stop making unnecessary suggestions. “Any objections to the design should be taken up with the Central Water Commission (CWC) as political leaders are no experts in irrigation,” he said and hastened to add that any changes to the project design would not yield the expected results.
The project will not only be beneficial to Andhra Pradesh but also to Telangana along with Rayalaseema area as it would create irrigation facility for about seven lakh acres afresh including Khammam in Telangana apart from stabilisation of Krishna and Godavari deltas, he said.
Responding to other issues including the location of new railway zone headquarters in Visakhapatnam, the Lok Sabha member said that the new railway zone will have its headquarters in Visakhapatnam as the state capital is being rumoured to be located near Vijayawada and Guntur.
“The railway zone has nothing to do with the budget and will be decided by the railway committee which is yet to submit its report. The issue was already taken up with chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu and we are confident that the new railway zone headquarters will be in Visakhapatnam,” he added.
Haribabu was confident that Andhra Pradesh state will have surplus power by October 2 this year following which industrial incentives and uninterrupted power supply will become a reality.
Round-the-clock power supply can be implemented through power purchases and execution of pending power projects. Andhra Pradesh Maritime Board will be constituted to take the best advantage of the available resources along the 974-km coastline and also develop several ports for improving the economic activity. Apart from the sanction of various projects and educational institutions made in the budget this year, the remaining projects will be taken up during the next fiscal year.