HYDERABAD: Accusing former minister T Harish Rao and other BRS leaders of spreading misinformation, Irrigation Minister N Uttam Kumar Reddy on Monday categorically said that the Congress government will never hand over the projects of Telangana to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB).
Addressing the media here, Uttam said that the Congress took over the reins of the state on December 7, 2023, and the state government never considered the proposal to hand over the projects to KRMB in the last 56 days.
He pointed out that the BRS, when it was in power, failed in the optimum utilisation of Krishna river waters and agreed to give a higher share of water to the sibling state of Andhra Pradesh.
Uttam said the then BRS government should have insisted on a larger share of Krishna waters for Telangana immediately after the formation of the state in 2014.
“River water sharing is decided based on catchment area, drought-prone area, population and cultivable area. However, injustice was done to Telangana in all these parameters as the KCR government agreed to give a larger share of Krishna river water to Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
Reading out the minutes of the KRMB meeting, he pointed out that it was the BRS government which agreed to hand over the projects to the Board, and the same was reflected in the documents of the Budget 2023-24 presented by the then chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. Apart from handing over the projects, the KCR government also allocated `200 crore for maintenance, Uttam said.
He accused BRS leaders of repeatedly spreading lies to defame the present Congress government.
“As the Irrigation minister, I categorically announce that we have not taken any decision in this regard. There has been no proposal, no effort, or no direction to hand over the projects to KRMB,” the irrigation minister reiterated.
‘BRS regime colluded with Andhra govt’
Uttam emphasised that it was the KCR government that facilitated the AP government to float tenders for the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme by postponing the Apex Council meeting.
“The Rayalaseema lift irrigation project was started soon after a secret deal was struck between KCR and (AP CM) YS Jagan Mohan Reddy,” Uttam said.
He criticised the KCR government for failing to utilise about seven tmcft of Krishna water that reaches Telangana through gravity and allowing Andhra Pradesh to take eight tmcft per day from Srisailam. He also said that on May 5, 2020, the AP government issued GO 203 to withdraw eight tmcft of water per day.
He accused the previous BRS regime of fully cooperating with the AP government in depriving Telangana of its due share of Krishna river water. He criticised the KCR government for wasting thousands of crores of public money in the name of irrigation projects. The Kaleshwaram project was constructed by spending about Rs 95,000 crore, and not even one lakh acres were irrigated by this project. With the Medigadda and other two barrages suffering damages, the entire project has come to a standstill, he said.
Similarly, the cost of the Palamuru-Rangareddy project was escalated, and despite spending Rs 27,500 crore, not a single acre was cultivated. All projects in the erstwhile Mahbubnagar district like Kalwakurthy, Bhimasagar and Koyal Sagar were kept pending.
He also criticised Harish Rao for questioning his role in the Telangana statehood movement. He stated that Telangana became a reality due to the all-party meeting convened by the then Union home minister P Chidambaram and that he had played a crucial role in it. He alleged that BRS leaders were “blackmailers” even during the statehood movement.
Uttam accused KCR and Jagan Mohan Reddy of colluding to deprive Telangana of its share in the Krishna River. He alleged that Jagan, at the instance of KCR, deliberately sent forces to Nagarjuna Sagar on the voting day to influence the outcome of the recent Assembly elections.