Telangana urges NGT to stop Polavaram project, says it is a threat to Bhadradri

Hyderabad: Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao informed the Telangana Legislative Council on Monday that a complaint had been lodged with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) urging it to stop Polavaram project work.

Replying to a question of Congress member Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy, Harish Rao said the State Government had requested the NGT to order an investigation as there was a threat to Bhadrachalam temple due to Polavaram back waters. “We have requested the NGT to institute an inquiry by an independent agency into our apprehensions”, the minister said. He also said the State Government also urged the NGT to stop construction work on the Polavaram project till a study was conducted on the issues raised by the Telangana Government, he said.

Replying to another question, Harish Rao clarified that the State Government did not borrow even a single rupee for the irrigation projects. “While we are sincerely striving to complete the projects at the earliest, the Congress people were creating hurdles”, he alleged. Stating that they were trying to get Telangana share in the Godavari and Krishna River waters, Harish Rao said steps were being taken to complete the projects on time.

Giving clarity on the irrigation projects, Harish said the State Government spent Rs 22,000 crores  in two-and-a-half years while the previous Congress regime had spent Rs 39,000 crores in 10 years. The TRS wrested power after achieving statehood for the sake of river waters, jobs and resources but the hostile Congress was obstructing the development work, he fumed.

Harish Rao condemned the comments as baseless that the State was caught in the web of getting loans for completing the projects. “This is not correct as we spent a lot of money on the projects”. However, he maintained that due to demonetization of big currency notes, they tried to get temporary loans for the same. The people of the State are aware of the nefarious designs of the Congress for trying to obstruct the development for the sake of political mileage, he alleged.

The TRS Government, he said, will definitely complete the Palamur and Dindi projects at any cost despite the opposition creating obstacles. He said the government would not keep quiet if Brijesh Kumar Tribunal verdict causes injustice and loss to the Telangana State. “To protect our interests of the irrigation sector, the State Government will fight with the Centre too and mount pressure on the BJP-led NDA Government”, he said.

The Irrigation Minister claimed that they could distribute waters to irrigate four lakh acres in Mahbubnagar district alone by completing the pending projects. “This gave positive results as the migrated Palamur workers returned home and cultivating their lands”, he claimed. He also attributed non-completion of the projects to the failure and partisan attitude of the previous Telugu Desam and Congress governments. –NSS

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