Hyderabad: Tearing into Congress allegations on irrigation projects in Telangana, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao said at a time when the entire nation was acknowledging the projects taken up in the State, it was unfortunate that Congress leaders here were blind to this development.
Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader M Bhatti Vikramarka’s observations on projects during the discussion on budget in the Assembly on Saturday triggered arguments between TRS and Congress legislators. He alleged that not a single project was completed nor was any worthy of a mention during the TRS reign in the State.
Intervening during the discussion, the Chief Minister said the mammoth Kaleshwaram project was drawing national attention and even experts from across the globe were appreciating the Telangana government for completing the project in a record time. Similarly, Bhakta Ramadas project was completed in one year. Over 20 lakh people visited the Lakshmi Barrage till date, he said.
“Is Mission Bhagiratha not a project and is it not a fact that 56 lakh houses were getting water supply? About 27,000 lakes have been filled following rejuvenation under Mission Kakatiya and is that not a project?” questioned Rao.
People are celebrating after 27 lakh acres ayacut came into cultivation through Mid-Manair project. Unfortunately, Congress is blind to this development and good work done by the government, he charged.
Earlier, the CLP leader said the Pranahita-Chevalla project was conceived during the Congress reign. Taking a dig at him, the Chief Minister asked where was the project? “Was it in air or space?” Despite Congress being in power both in the State and at the Centre, there was no agreement signed to take up the project, the Chief Minister pointed out.
When Vikramarka claimed that Dummugudem Rajeevsagar and Indira Sagar projects were planned by Congress, Rao shot back saying Indira Sagar head-works got submerged at Rudramakota as part of the Polavaram project. Pointing out that there was nothing like the Dummugudem Rajeevsagar project, the Chief Minister said there was a Dummugudem tail pond and that too was conceived to betray Telangana. “With one stroke of the pen, we withdrew that project as it was not for the welfare of the Telangana people,” Chandrashekhar Rao said.
He said Congress’ attitude of making baseless allegations had not changed in the last five years. When TRS stormed to power with two-thirds majority, Congress said it was because of manipulation of EVMs, he said. “TRS won all the 32 Zilla Parishads in ballot elections. What does Congress have to say about this?” the Chief Minister asked.
‘Need to remodel Hyd’s sewerage’
Less than 50 per cent of all raw sewage generated in Hyderabad is treated before being released into the Musi River, the government informed the Legislative Assembly on Saturday.
Agreeing with the contention from AIMIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi that urgent steps have to be taken to increase sewage treatment capacity in the city, IT, Industries and MA&UD Minister KT Rama Rao explained that the existing sewer network system in core city areas was old, and to cope with the present demand, it needed remodeling.
He said in order to strengthen the system and develop a new sewer network for the peripheral circles, the government directed HMWSSB to prepare a sewerage master plan for the entire GHMC area, up to the ORR limits. A Mumbai-based company was also appointed for preparing a comprehensive master plan to tackle the issue of sewage treatment and bring the systems up to par.
The consulting company, which has been provided with the HMWSSB plan, is expected to submit its report to the government by the end of the year. “The government is cognizant and conscious of the needs of Hyderabad. We have eliminated manual scavenging and introduced 95 mini-jetting machines. Much more needs to be done,” the Minister said.
Rama Rao also said, “The government will ensure that all buildings that are required to have their own sewage treatment plants will have them in working condition. The Pollution Control Board is also responsible for ensuring this. By 2034, the entire city of Hyderabad will be covered”.
Public-private partnerships will be encouraged for treating waste water generated in the city. Currently, all treated and untreated water empties into the Musi, he said. Work on adding STPs is expected to begin in the next year or so.
Expressing serious concern, Owaisi earlier said not all STPs in the city were working to their full capacity and the actual treatment of waste water was less than 30 per cent because of maintenance issues at STPs. “The Chemical Oxygen Demand, the Biological Oxygen Demand and Total Dissolved Solids are way above the permissible levels in the Musi. The river is going from bad to worse, affecting a total of 56 villages downstream, up to Nalgonda.”
TRS’ Khairatabad MLA D Nagender said whenever there are heavy rains, the STPs next to the Khairatabad flyover over flow and the water enters the BS Makta area. He wanted the government to take steps to ensure both units of the STP were in a working condition.
KCR challenges Bhatti
Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Saturday challenged Congress Legislative Party (CLP) leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka to prove his allegations that Telangana was reeling under Rs 3 lakh-crore debt.
“Can you prove that Telangana has Rs 3 lakh crore debts? If you can’t, take back your words,” Chandrashekhar Rao demanded of Vikramarka during the discussion on budget in the State Assembly. Congress is welcome to make constructive criticism, but the ruling party will not tolerate baseless allegations being levelled at will by Opposition leaders, the Chief Minister said.
The discussion commenced with arguments between TRS MLAs and Congress leaders over the budget. Vikramarka said Telangana was burdened with Rs 3 lakh crore debts and the current financial situation was precarious.
Intervening, the Chief Minister took strong objection over the baseless allegations and demanded the CLP leader get his facts correct. “Telangana’s debt is not even Rs 2 lakh crore and you are making false allegations by claiming it is Rs 3 lakh crore. Do not mislead the people and the House. I demand you to get your facts right,” Chandrashekhar Rao told Vikramarka.
The Chief Minister said Telangana was raising funds well within the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) guidelines, and Central Government’s approval. “If need be we will raise another Rs 20,000 crore,” he said, adding that the State was adhering to the fiscal prudence.
Despite the present scenario, not a single rupee was defaulted and that is Telangana government’s record, he said amidst thumping of benches by TRS MLAs. Further responding to Congress comments on cuts in budget estimates, the Chief Minister said it was clearly mentioned that due to the economic slowdown a few decisions were taken without compromising on any welfare measures.