I will strive to develop Atmakur industrially: Mekapati Vikram Reddy

He says that he has envisaged a plan to generate employment opportunities for 5,000 local youth by setting up more MSMEs in the industrial park at Narampeta.
Mekapati Vikram Reddy
Mekapati Vikram ReddyPhoto | Express

Mekapati Vikram Reddy’s entry into politics was unexpected. Following the untimely demise of his brother and the then IT and Industries Minister Mekapati Goutham Reddy, he contested the byelection to the Atmakur Assembly constituency in 2022 and won with a huge majority of 82,888 votes. Now, he is in the fray from the same Assembly constituency for the second consecutive time to keep the stranglehold of the Mekapati family on Atmakur. In an interview with D Surendra Kumar, Mekapati Vikram Reddy revealed his plans to develop the Assembly constituency on all fronts.

How do you assess your opponent Anam Ramanarayana Reddy of TDP, who won the Assembly seat in 2009?

The constituency did not achieve any significant development during the tenure of Anam. Contrary to that, Atmakur has witnessed tremendous development in the last five years. The people, who got benefited from the welfare schemes and development programmes implemented by the YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government, are not ready to believe Anam, who is claiming it may be his last electoral battle, to reach out to them.

Do you have any plans or special manifesto to develop Atmakur?

I have plans to develop Atmakur industrially to generate large scale employment opportunities, besides emphasizing infrastructure growth. I have envisaged a plan to generate employment opportunities to 5,000 local youth by setting up more MSMEs in the industrial park at Narampeta. This initiative aims to boost economic growth in the region. Completion of the Somasila High-Level Canal and the development of irrigation canals in the constituency to ensure adequate supply of water to agricultural land is my priority. Additionally, it has been proposed to construct cement roads and side canals and develop other basic amenities with a total investment of Rs 419 crore to improve the quality of life people in the constituency. Emphasis will also be laid on the development of recreation facilities. A park and a walking track will be laid at Atmakur tank as part of the initiative. I will strive to implement a plan to provide protected drinking water to every household in Atmakur town and Sangam villages in the next five years.

What is the reason for the delay in execution of Somasila High Level Canal, which is a crucial project to meet the drinking and irrigation needs of Atmakur and Udayagiri constituencies?

The project has faced setbacks in the form of land acquisition, besides inaccuracies and irregularities during the previous TDP regime. This has led to an escalation of the project cost. The YSRC government is committed to completing the Somasila High Level Canal on a priority basis to solve the irrigation and drinking water problem in the region on a permanent basis.

What is the people’s response to your election campaign?

I am getting an overwhelming response from the people in both urban and rural areas of the constituency during the electioneering. The people are expressing immense satisfaction over the implementation of development programmes and welfare schemes in the last five years. I’m confident of my victory in the election.

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