SIDDIPET: As per the instructions of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, the officials concerned are making all necessary arrangements to expedite the construction of Mallannasagar as soon as possible, so that they can divert at least 12 tmcft of Kaleshwaram water into the reservoir within the next 40 days.
Project Superintendent Engineer (SE) Venu says that almost all works pertaining to the construction of Mallannasagar, being built with a capacity of 50 tmcft, have been completed. The delay in diverting KLIS water has to be attributed to heavy rains and the pending court case, he adds.
It may be recalled that about 150 families in Etigadda Kistapur and Vemulaghat villages, located in the submergence zone of the reservoir, had previously approached the High Court stating that they were being denied fair compensation. The oustees had also requested the HC to direct the government not to evict them until they received proper R&R packages.
After hearing the arguments of the oustees, the High Court directed the State government to maintain status quo in these villages till August 30, 2021. It also directed the officials concerned not to evict the oustees forcibly or demolish the already vacant houses, until further orders. As per the directions of the High Court, the officials refrained from disturbing the oustees.
However, after reports that the soil on the project ayacut eroded due to heavy rains in June and July started surfacing, the officials have been busy repairing the embankment in the area where the cement works haven’t been initiated yet. Venu says that all the works would have been completed by now, if the heavy rains hadn’t hit the State during the last two months. Meanwhile, the officials are now going all out to expedite the remaining works within the stipulated time and also ensure the relocation of oustees.
The oustees have told the officials that they are ready to vacate the submerging villages if they get proper R&R packages — money, double bedroom houses, or Rs 5.4 lakh each to construct a 250-yard house.
However, as the case is still pending in the HC and with pressure from the Chief Minister to divert KLIS water into the Mallannasagar reservoir immediately, the officials have, reportedly, agreed to the demands put forth by the oustees. Hence, the remaining affected villagers are now being shifted to temporary shelters at the Resettlement Colony. Revenue officials say that they will be able to completely vacate both the villages in the next two days.
Hayat Uddin, a member of the Mallannasagar Porata Samithi that has been fighting cases on behalf of the oustees, says: “We have decided to vacate the villages, after taking into consideration the situation of the officials. It’s not fair to adamantly hold on to something further when the officials have promised to ensure justice for us.”
‘WATER RELEASE ONLY AFTER EVACUATION’
Speaking to Express, Project SE Venu said: “Water will be released into Mallannasagar reservoir, gradually, after all the oustees vacate the submerging villages.”