Pattiseema water for Rayalaseema: Naidu

  • Benefit mainly Anantapur, Chittur districts
  • Polavaram takes at least 5 years

HYDERABAD: AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu has assured Rayalaseema people that the State government will provide water for drinking and irrigation within a year through the proposed Pattiseema lift irrigation project on Godavari river.

Responding to the criticism by YSRCP, the main opposition party in the House, during the debate on ‘River water linkages’ on Monday, the Chief Minister elaborated that the Pattiseema lift irrigation project is aimed at providing drinking and irrigation water to the Rayalaseema districts, mainly Anantapur and Chittoor, since completion of the Polavaram national project will take at least four years. Naidu said the excess water, which was draining into the sea will be diverted to the Krishna river basin through Pattiseema project and the water that saved will be streamlined to Rayalaseema districts, while ensuring the first right of both the East and West Godavari districts on the Godavari delta, who blessed the TDP with thumping majority in the general elections last year.

The Chief Minister announced that his party and the NDA governments at State and Centre respectively will complete Polavaram Project which was announced as national project by the Centre by 2018. He also said since the completion of the Polavaram project will take at least five years, the proposed Rs 1,300 crore Pattiseema lift irrigation project will bridge the gap in providing water to the Rayalaseema. The Chief Minister said he never tolerated any corrupt practice unlike “Jalayagnam which turned into “Dhanayagnam” during the regime of late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy. He lambasted YSRCP chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and his MLAs that if they come to construct the projects with their corrupt money, then he will allow them. The CM said his government followed a transparent procedure in conducting bids for construction of the project through online and granted permission to the eligible company.

Minister for irrigation Devineni Umamaheswara Rao pointing out at the Leader of the Opposition said the TD government invited open tenders through online and any one could file a tender from their office, including Jagan. He also said the project was sanctioned to the L&T without mobilization advance to ensure accountability. He also said the government has inserted a new condition in the contract that if the project is not completed within the stipulated time, the government will not release the amount.

YSRCP MLA Visweswara Reddy criticized the government over the escalation of the project cost by 22 per cent and sanctioned permission to TD’s selected companies and did not maintain transparency in conducting bids. He slammed the State government for undertaking Pattiseema project at the cost of Polavaram project. He said State government did not insist on the Central government to construct the Polavaram project. He said Chandrababu Naidu completely ignored the Polavaram project during his first and second tenures as chief minister for nine years. He mentioned that at least, today TDP is talking about river linkages which is a better sign.

TD MLA Dulipalla Narendra, Ponnur MLA from Guntur district, who initiated the debate on ‘river linking’ said the State was reeling under dire need of water. He said the linking of rivers is most prioritized issue, since the State is starving under drought. He also said while then chief minister and TDP founder NT Rama Rao has constructed Telugu Ganga and Handri Neeva projects, Chandrababu Naidu initiated Thotapally and Veligonda projects. He said the TDP government is committed to complete all the projects on priority basis.

Before the debate commenced in the House, YSRCP staged protests several times insisting that Speaker Kodela Sivaprasada Rao give at least two hours to the Opposition exclusively to debate on the issue. Though the Speaker was trying to convince the Opposition that, under the rule 334, the debate is permitted for an hour only, the YSRCP MLAs raised slogans, staged protests and encircled the podium. Helpless Speaker adjourned the House more than two times. (NSS)

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