ANI Photo | BRS calls for ‘Chalo Medigadda’ on March 1, alleges criminial negligence by state govt over KLI project

BRS Working President and MLA Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao alleged on Tuesday that the Congress-led government in the state is showing a criminal conspiracy over the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP) and wants Medigadda to be washed away in the rains.
The BRS leader also called for the ‘Chalo Meddigadda’ programme on March 1.
Addressing the media at Telangana Bhavan in Hyderabad, KTR said, “Before Telangana formation, Telangana people have been fighting for decades for water in Krishna and Godavari, especially Godavari waters. We have started a Telangana movement for Neelu, Nidhulu and Niyamakalu. However, thousands of TMC of water just went into the sea and was wasted. The Congress governments that ruled us at that time said that water could not be brought to Telangana because of its geography.”
“Many Telangana poets have written many songs on the Godavari waters. The then Congress government did not build any projects, which even led to the drying up of existing projects. As the Telangana movement started, they started Jalayagnam. They showed us a dream of the Pranahita Chevella project but did not take any steps on it,” he added.
Coming down heavily on the Congress, the BRS leader alleged that the grand old party made excuses without doing any work.
“They just made excuses without doing any work. There was a Congress government in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and even in the centre; however, they did not do anything. They just gave money to contractors in the name of mobilisation. The CAG reports at that time said that there was a huge scam in it. Newspapers reported that Jalayagnam is the mother of all frauds. After Telangana formation and elaborate discussions, we decided to build the Kaleswaram project to bring Godavari waters to Telangana,” he said.
“We have even held talks with neighbouring states through water diplomacy, despite Maharashtra being ruled by the BJP and building barrages on Godavari. Many people are talking today about how Kaleswaram is only Medigadda or a single barrage. We are going to Medigadda to show everyone exactly what Kaleswaram is,” KTR added.
The BRS leader said that party chief K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) had told Nalgonda that we would go to Medigadda, Annaram and Sundilla to show the people the true extent of Kaleswaram. Kaleswaram is not just Medigadda. Kaleswaram means 3 barrages, 15 reservoirs, 21 pump houses, 203 km of tunnels, 141 TMC storage, 240 TMC utilisation and others. More than 40 lakh acres of land are irrigated with Kaleswaram. When only 3 pillars out of the 84 pillars of a single barrage are damaged, it sounds like the entire project will float away. Kaleswaram is not a simple project. The water from the height of 88m is lifted to 618m with Kaleswaram. Anyone who knows Telangana topography knows that Kaleswaram is a project that will keep Telangana away from water scarcity.
“Even though many cases were filed against it, KCR has finally made it possible after taking more than 400 permissions. The Congress government had designed the Pranahita Chevella project without any storage concept. However, Kaleswaram was designed with 3 barrages at Medigadda, Annaram and Sundilla, 15 reservoirs, bahubali motors and others,” he added.
KTR said that Kaleswaram is a multi-stage lift irrigation project.
“Kaleswaram will irrigate more than 40 lakh acres of land with stabilisation and new ayacut. Kaleswaram is a multi-stage lift irrigation project. Water can be lifted from three different sources through the project. Medigadda is just the perineal source for the project. We have built Kaleswaram such that it will stabilise the existing ayacut and we have also built a new ayacut. Even (Telangana Minister) Uttam Kumar Reddy knows in his heart that all the regions in Thungathurthi, Suryapet, Kodad, Dornapalli, Mahabubabad and others are getting water from Kaleswaram. He might not tell it but he knows it. These areas have never received water from the SRSP project,” he said.
“Kaleswaram is not just lifting water; it also fills other rivers with water. Groundwater levels have increased and rivers have been filled because of Kaleswaram. Borewells are put in by farmers as ground level water increases. In Rajanna Sircilla district, ground water has gone up to 6 metres. Hyderabad has no scarcity of water because of Kaleswaram,” the BRS leader added.
He further said, “In Assembly, they put a report of cost-benefit analysis. As per Telangana’s topography, the only way to irrigate is to lift the water from lower areas. There is no other option here. If there are other options, then we can think about cost-benefit and viability. But there is no other alternative here. If cost benefit analysis is considered, then there should not be any government hospitals, IITs, IIM or others, as it is not viable as per cost-benefit analysis. The government is not a for-profit institution. The government, by definition, has social obligations and has to ensure that the most vulnerable sections of society are taken care of.”
“After 11 years of building the SRSP project, only 25,000 acres were irrigated and only 98,000 acres were irrigated by Nagarjuna Sagar after 12 years. In the Kalwakurthy project, after 30 years, only 13,000 acres were irrigated,” he added.
Calling for ‘Chalo Meddigadda’, KTR said, “On March 1, we are doing ‘Chalo Meddigadda’ where our MLAs, MLCs, MPs and other leaders around 150-200 leaders–will go to Medigadda from Telangana Bhavan. On our first day, we will visit Meddigadda. After that, in the following days, we will go around the whole project and show the people about the entire project. KCR is not coming to Medigadda. However, he will hold discussions after we come back and also brief the media. We will apply for any permissions if required.”
“Unfortunately, 2-3 pillars of Medigadda were damaged in November. But this is not new. There have been many incidents in various barrages and dams in our country where they have been damaged. This is not the first. The damage that happened in Medigadda can be repaired by building a cofferdam and repairing it. We demand the government build a cofferdam and repair the damaged pillars immediately before the coming rains. We have stated this in the Assembly and we reiterate the need to conduct an investigation and take action against any culprits in Kaleswaram. We have no objection to it. We demand the state government repair the dam immediately, start at least one pump and give water to the farmers,” he added.
KTR said, “It is just small damage. Only 3 pillars in a single barrage have been damaged in a project with 3 barrages, 15 reservoirs and 21 pumping stations. The government is using this for political mileage and resorting to false campaigns. We are suspicious that the government is conspiring that the entire Kaleswaram, including all 3 barrages, should float away in the coming rains and that is why they are not repairing the small damage that has happened. Don’t sacrifice Medigadda for political gain. You have given enough presentations; now tell us what the solution is. You should immediately order repairs for the damaged pillars. Medigadda is just a small component of Kaleswaram. Kaleswaram is a very big project.”
Alleging that the government is showing criminal negligence, the BRS leader said, “The government is in a premeditated mindset that Annaram and Sundilla will also float away. How can the ministers say that the barrages will float away? Are they engineers? I am alleging that this government has a criminal conspiracy motive. They do not want to repair. The government is willfully showing criminal negligence and there is a conspiracy. They deliberately want the barrage to be washed away in the upcoming rains. They don’t want to rectify the problem. If my allegation is not correct, let the CM respond as to why they are not resorting to any rectifying measures. Neither an inquiry nor repairs are happening.”
“In the last 9 years, we have had good rainfall every year. Kaleswaram is also a drought-proof project. The forecast is that there will be a shortage of rains this year, so this is the year when we can understand the full benefit and utilisation of Kaleswaram. Take rectification measures and parallelly conduct an inquiry,” he added

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