Hyderabad: Shunning inhibitions, Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao said the availability of water in the Krishna River has declined to an alarming level due to the construction of projects by Karnataka and Maharashtra and pumping out water by a neighboring state.
"Upper riparian states of Krishna River including Karnataka and Maharashtra are constructing projects and the neighboring state is `taking away' water through pipes. Plus there is a lack of rainfall. These factors have led to an alarming decline in the availability of water. Against this backdrop, the state's rightful share in Krishna water should be utilized to the last drop. For this, all the pending projects on Krishna River including Palamuru Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme should be completed on a war footing," KCR said.
The CM said Krishna water should be diverted to make Palamuru full of fertile and crop-yielding land. He said the faster the project is completed the better for the farmers and the agriculture sector. He said this project could be linked to the Jurala project.
KCR instructed the Water Resources Department to complete Palamuru Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme by end of this year.
He said the works on the pending projects in Krishna Basin should be completed at the earliest. To achieve this, the CM said the time has come for the Water Resources Department officials to work with total commitment.
The CM was chairing a high-level meeting at Pragathi Bhavan on Sunday to review the progress of works on the Palamuru Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme.
"During the separate Telangana statehood movement, my speeches were never concluded without mentioning the water crisis in Mahbubnagar and the fluoride problem of Nalgonda. The then rulers have intentionally kept Telangana projects pending. After the formation of the State, the ongoing pending projects are being completed one by one. Certain vested interests have created problems and obstacles for the completion of the Palamuru Rangareddy project by filing cases in the courts and getting stay orders. But yet we are going ahead with the works with more determination," he said.
KCR noted that they have completed Kalwakurty, Nettempad, Bhima and Jurala projects. "We have turned 11 lakh acres in southern Palamuru as fertile lands. There are some unfinished works to be completed. Think how fast we can complete these works. Works should be continued taking inspiration from the Kaleswaram Project. In any case, the works on Palamuru Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme should be completed by this December," he said.
The CM also discussed the land acquisition to be taken up for the Lift Irrigation Scheme, rehabilitation measures, construction of the substations, digging of the canals, setting up of the pumps, and related works. The CM also discussed at length how much money is needed for the land acquisition? What are the pending works including the land acquisition? How many reservoirs? Is there any need to increase their storage capacity? What is the full Tank level capacity etc.; KCR reacted to the slow pace of works at some places and stressed the need to speed them up in a more focused manner.
The CM wanted pumps to be fitted at Narlapur, Edula and Vattem. He enquired from the engineers on how much time it would take to complete the tunnel works from Narlapur to Edula? He wanted these works to be completed by end of June. The CM also asked the officials about the progress works on Vattem to Karivena Canal and also about the canal lining works. The CM inquired why there is a delay in works despite the state government releasing the funds on time and instructed the officials concerned to get ready to speed up the works.
The CM instructed Smita Sabharwal, Rajat Kumar, and Muralidhar Rao to conduct a weekly review on the works by going on the field visits. He said the officials concerned should understand how the works on the Kaleswaram project were completed and taking inspiration from this they should complete the Palamuru Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme.
The CM recalled that the state government had kept funds with the officials at various levels so that they can react whenever a problem raised and solve it. He said that the government had given facilities to the officials to spend funds and take up the works without waiting for any green signal from Hyderabad. "When the government is extending such support to the engineers, they should redouble their commitment to complete the works," he said.
The CM complimented that the Water Resources Department for Telangana State is like a lifeline.