HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu appears to have shifted focus to drought-hit Rayalaseema in order to hit back at the Opposition, which is charging him with neglecting the backward region.
Naidu on Wednesday held a video conference with collectors of Anantapur, Chittoor, Kurnool and Kadapa districts and assessed the status of ongoing works of various irrigation projects in Rayalaseema.
During the meeting, also attended by top officials of the irrigation department, the Chief Minister directed them to complete all unfinished works of Handri-Neeva Sujala Sravanti (HNSS) phase-II by December as it is key to storing Krishna waters brought to Rayalaseema after completion of the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Project.
He also ordered the officials to ensure that the Galeru Nagari Sujala Sravanti (GNSS) project, designed to store inflows from Nippula Vagu, Telugu Ganga and Srisailam Right Bank Canal, was completed at the earliest.
Naidu’s directive assumes significance as the YSRC and the Congress are wondering at the way the State government is trying to expedite Pattiseema project, without concentrating on completing either the Handri-Neeva or Galeru Nagari projects.
Interestingly, the State government also announced an interim special package of Rs 49.5 lakh to support families of 33 farmers who had committed suicide in Ananatapur district.
These developments took place exactly a few days after Congress seniors such as DL Ravindra Reddy and C Ramachandraiah had given a call to the people of Rayalaseema to take to the streets to fight for the rights of the region, “as the TDP government is neglecting Rayalaseema on all fronts.”
Earlier in the day, while addressing irrigation officials, Naidu told them that in order to make Rayalaseema drought-free, the State government was keen on expediting pending works irrigation projects. Having spent Rs 1,028 crore on land acquisition for the pending projects, the Chief Minister directed district collectors to complete input subsidy distribution to land owners without further delay.
“Even if one tmc of stored water is transferred to Rayalaseema, Our aim of making the region drought-proof will be fulfilled,” Naidu said.
Interim Spl Package for Farmers
Five days after AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s padayatra in Anantapur district during which he had consoled the kin of farmers who had committed suicide, the AP government on Wednesday announced Rs 49 lakh as an ‘interim special package’ for the kin of all the 33 farmers, who had ended their lives because of financial problems in the district. “Anantapur district collector had submitted proposals in the prescribed format along with 5% self-check of the total cases of 33 families of the farmers who committed suicide on account of distress caused by their occupation-related problems in the district during 2013 & 2014. The State government has decided to reimburse the interim special package to all these families by releasing `49 lakh,” the State government said in a GO.