Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Bias against TS irrigation projects

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KTR lashes out at Centre

PNS|Hyderabad

BRS Working President Industries Minister KT Rama Rao wrote an open letter to the BJP-led Central Government over the issue of the Environment Assessment Committee (EAC) deferring Environmental Clearance (EC) for the Palamuru Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PRLIS).

In the letter, KTR highlighted the ‘discrimination’ practised by the Centre against Telangana.

“I write this open letter with utter disappointment regarding the discriminatory policies of the BJP-led Central Government against Telangana. I want to highlight the Centre’s unjust treatment of the State’s irrigation projects, particularly the Palamuru Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PRLIS). It is essential to draw attention to this issue and demand that it be addressed promptly,” he said.

The Palamuru Rangareddy project is a ray of hope for the drought-prone areas of Nagarkurnool, Mahbubnagar, Vikarabad, Narayanapet, Rangareddy and Nalgonda districts in Telangana. It aims to provide water to around 12.5 lakh acres and meet the drinking water needs of many villages, Hyderabad and of industries. This project has the potential to transform lives and reduce hardships due to water scarcity.

The erstwhile Mahbubnagar, Rangareddy and Nalgonda districts have always struggled with drought. Nalgonda faces fluoride issues too. Mahbubnagar saw migration due to a lack of irrigation. After the State’s formation, the Telangana government undertook many irrigation projects to address water scarcity and promote agricultural development. The Palamuru Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PRLIS) is one of the significant irrigation projects of Telangana, he said.

However, the Centre has completely ignored Telangana’s irrigation projects and provides no support. They create obstacles in granting permissions and refuse to grant national project status to TS projects. Meanwhile, projects in other states receive funding, permissions and national project status. How fair is it for the Centre to refuse national project status to PRLIS while readily granting it to the Upper Bhadra project in Karnataka, said KTR.

The Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-II has not given any decision on sharing water between the four states. The Centre has not taken any significant action to address this matter. Telangana has been demanding its rightful share of 500 TMC water from the Krishna River. Unfortunately, the Centre has not taken the basic step of referring our request to the tribunal even after nine years. Despite water being a state subject, Telangana is unable to utilize its own water from irrigation projects without obtaining permission from the Centre, he said.

“The way the Centre treats Telangana is very disappointing. They ignore our legitimate requests and don’t give us the same opportunities as others. The people of Telangana should get a fair chance to develop and get what they deserve,” KTR added.

“The Centre cannot break Telangana’s spirit. Despite its lack of support, Telangana has consistently outperformed other states in many sectors,” he said.

“I request everyone to condemn the Centre’s unfair treatment of Telangana. The Centre’s biases should not hinder the potential of our irrigation projects. It is time for us to ensure that Telangana’s development is not compromised any longer,” KTR said.

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