HYDERABAD: The state government is contemplating to enhance the budgetary allocations to irrigation sector from next year from the current Rs 25,000 crore.
Replying to debate on demands, irrigation minister T Harish Rao said: “For 2016-17, we have earmarked Rs 25,000 crore. If necessary, the budgetary allocations for irrigation sector will be increased to Rs 30,000 crore or 35,000 crore.’’
The state Assembly debated on seven demands including municipal administration and urban development, panchayat raj, rural development, roads and buildings, major and medium irrigation, minor irrigation and energy - for nearly seven hours on Tuesday.
Replying to the debate on demands, Harish Rao said the state government was trying to provide assured waters even to Palamuru-Rangareddy project, which would be completed in 30 months. “As the case on Krishna waters is in Supreme Court, the strategy of the government to provide more quantity of assured waters cannot be revealed on the floor of the House. I will send my officials to the leader of the Opposition to clarify the same,” Harish Rao said.
He also said the government accorded top priority to complete all the pending 23 irrigation projects to provide water to 15 lakh acres.
SFC FUNDS TO MANDALS AND ZPS: Panchayat Raj minister KT Rama Rao said they were planning to revise the funding pattern of State Finance Commission (SFC) funds.
As the Centre is directly sending money to panchayats, mandals and zilla parishads were not getting any funds. “We have requested the Centre to give some funds even to mandals and ZPs. But, there is no response till date. We are organising a meet with all PR ministers in the country in March in Delhi. Even if the Centre did not allocate funds to the ZPs and mandals, the state government will cut the SFC funds to gram panchayats and allocate more funds to ZPs and mandals. We are planning to divert 50 percent SFC funds to ZPs, 40 percent funds to mandals and nominal funds to gram panchayats,” Rama Rao explained.
He said the state government requested the Centre to include Karimnagar instead of Hyderabad under Smart Cities programme. “A sum of Rs 100 crore to be released by the Centre for smart cities is not sufficient to Hyderabad. We requested the Union urban development minister to release Rs 1,500 crore to Rs 2,000 crore every year for Hyderabad. But, we are waiting for their reply,” Rama Rao said.
Rama Rao said around 3.5 lakh street lights in Hyderabad would be replaced with LED bulbs. Around 1,770 vacant posts of village secretaries would be filled up either by way of giving promotions or with direct recruitment.
Meanwhile, energy minister G Jagadish Reddy said the Bhadradri power plant would be completed in two years. The state went for sub-critical plant instead of super critical plant as the gestation period was just two years.
The sub-critical plant can be operated with local coal whereas super critical plant needed imported coal. It would take four years to complete the construction of super-critical plant, he explained.
However, Opposition leader K Jana Reddy said they would not lodge a protest on this and they left the decision to the people on the replies given by the ministers. “Let the people watch the proceedings and decided who is right,” Jana Reddy.
Harish Rao retorted saying: “The people watched the developments in Warangal, Khammam and other elections.’’