HYDERABAD: Reiterating their claim that Tummidi Hatti was a better option than Medigadda for construction of the barrage, Pradesh Congress Committee accused Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao of wasting Rs 80,000 crore public money by redesigning Pranahitha-Chevella project proposed by the YS Rajasekhara Reddy government .
TPCC chief N Uttam Kumar Reddy on Monday led a team of party MPs, MLAs, MLCs and others to Tummidi Hatti to expose the claims of the State government that there was not enough water at the site and that its decision to construct barrage at Medigadda was correct. The team found that there was enough water at Tummidi Hatti. The team demanded that the Centre order CBI probe into the irregularities of Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS).
The Congress leaders were welcomed by local party leaders on arrival by train at Kagaznagar and took them in a procession to Pranahita river. They even travelled in boats to prove that there was enough water at Tummidi Hatti to take up the project.
Speaking to media persons after visiting Tummidi Hatti, the TPCC chief alleged that the Chief Minister for the sake of commissions redesigned the Pranahitha-Chevella project. He stated that in the Detailed Project Report (DPR) prepared in 2008 with extension of the project up to Chevella to irrigate 16.4 lakh acres by lifting 165 tmc ft water was Rs 38,000 crore, but the TRS government in the name of redesigning escalated the cost to Rs 80,000 crore. He wanted to know why Chief Minister after signing an MoU with Maharashtra to construct project at a height of 148 meters at Tummidi Hatti did not implement it.
Uttam claimed that if the barrage was constructed at Tummidi Hatti by lifting water up to 15 meters it could have been transported through gravity to Yellampalli reducing the cost to a very large extent. He said the way the State government gave Rs 4,000 crore worth works for one more lift to the existing agency on nomination basis was proof of how the government was misusing power to favour contractors. When the option of getting the water through gravity the government chose to lift the water for making money, he alleged. “There is an urgent need to probe irregularities in the Kaleshwaram project. We cannot let the government waste people’s money for impracticable projects,” he said.
Another Congress leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka stated that even after spending a whopping Rs 80,000 crore, the State government could complete just 25 per cent of the project. “ He stated that the previous governments had completed works worth Rs 10,000 crore under Pranahitha-Chevella project and if the present government had not redesigned the project, it could have been completed with another Rs 28,000 crore, he said.
Senior leaders V Hanumantha Rao, Mohammad Ali Shabbir, D Sridhar Babu, Ponnam Prabhakar and other leaders were part of the delegation.