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Cong, TDP Responsible for Destruction of Tanks in TS–Harish Rao

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Questioning whether the suicides of the farmers could take place if the tanks were full with water, Telangana Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao alleged that the earlier Andhra governments destroyed the tanks, which were heart for the lives of the people of Telangana region.

Replying to the short discussion on ‘Mission Kakatiya’ programme on Wednesday in the Legislative Assembly, Harish Rao said that Kaktiyas, Qutub Shahis, Asaf Jahis dug huge tanks like Ramappa, Laknavaram and Pakal, which look similar to seas, in Telangana though it has no seas, and the region was rich with the tank water. Many people from Andhra migrated to Telangana region 150 years ago for their livelihood and settled here. But after the merger of Telangana with Andhra region, destruction of tanks had taken place leading to severe troubles to farmers in the region. The TRS government has launched Mission Kakatiya project immediately after the formation of Telangana state and named it ‘Kakatiya Mission’ to continue the spirit of Kakatiya dynasty. The government was reviving the tanks by vacating encroachers from the tanks, he said.

Alleging that TDP and Congress were the reason for the destruction of the tanks in Telangana region, Harish Rao said that the farmers’ suicides would have not taken place in case the tanks were in good position. He said that there were 46,531 tanks in Telangana region. TRS government spent Rs. 2611 crores within one year after launching the project. The government has taken up e-procurement tenders and saved 22 percent budget through it and the amount saved was Rs.575 crores.

Stating that it was unfortunate that the first Telangana Assembly has such a bad opposition which has kept criticizing the government and its schemes like Mission Kakatiya, Harish Rao said that the Raman Megasesay awardee and water man of India Rajender Singh, Governor ESL Narasimhan, State High Court, and Michigan University showered praises at Mission Kakatiya, but the opposition parties in the T Assembly were criticizing the scheme alleging that it turned as ‘Commission Kakatiya’. He said that the State government was transparently taking up works and monitoring the works through WhatsApp.

Phase-II works will be taken up from January 1, 2016, completing the selection of tanks process by this December 30. He said that the in-completed tanks in Phase-I will be continued along with the works of Phase-II. The Mini Tank Bund will be constructed in every constituency headquarters, he said and added that already 16 Mini Tank Bunds were completed. He said that there were 169 tanks in Hyderabad and the works of revival of tanks in Hyderabad will be taken up by GHMC, HMDA and HUDA jointly. Mini Tank Bunds will be constructed at every tank in Hyderabad. Already about Rs.60 crore were allotted for the development of 34 tanks and Rs.30crores will be released for 29 tanks soon. He said that several tanks like Meeralam Thalab will be included in Phase-II Mission Kakatiya works.

Earlier, TRS MLA Alla Venkateshwar Reddy, initiated the short discussion on Mission Kakatiya. He said that the tanks in Telangana were destroyed by Seemandhra rulers. The farmers’ suicides were just because of Seemandhra rulers’ destructive rule. Minor Irrigation was Oxygen for the Telangana, but Seemandhra rulers destroyed the tanks. Venkateshwar Reddy said that he was happy that the TRS government has taken up revival of tanks with a movement spirit. He asked the government to construct Check Dams and construct Chain Tanks and urged the farmers not to commit suicides as the TRS government was working for their betterment.

Mahabubnagar MLA Srinivas Goud said that out of 70,000 tanks in Telangana only 46,531 tanks remained now. He asked the government to set up a committee for each tank to protect the tanks in Telangana.

Stating that TDP Chief N Chandrababu Naidu’s policy was ‘Two-Eye’ but Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s policy was ‘Two-Water’(drinking and Irrigation), Armoor MLA Jeevan Reddy said that it was uncalled for of the Opposition parties to criticize the Mission Kakatiya project.

Manakonduru MLA Rasamai Balakishan said that the revival of Tanks was a noble work and it was not correct on the part of opposition parties to criticize the project.

Owaisi on Hyd Tanks

Welcoming the Mission Kakatiya Project, MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi said that the project was a good one and it was the right time for the project. He said that Kakatiyas, Qutub Shahis and Asaf Jahis constructed tanks. The condition of the tanks was not good now. The government was spending huge budget and there was a need to do a Legislation to protect the tanks in future too. “Otherwise the tanks will be filled with silt again”, he said. The Bengaluru was called as City of Gardens and Hyderabad was called as City of Lakes, he said and alleged that there were no lakes now in Hyderabad. He said that the tanks were being encroached by unscrupulous elements. Out of 4000 lakes, only 2000 lakes remained now. The industries and nalas were flown with polluted water which was polluting the lakes in a big way.

He said that there was a need to protect the tanks in Hyderabad. But the Revenue department escapes while saying that it was the response of GHMC and vice versa. The people were dumping debris in the tanks and after that they were encroaching the tanks. Many tanks were not filling due to the encroachment of catchment areas. He asked the government to call for a meeting with the City MLAs to discuss on tanks in Hyderabad. There was a need to protect the catchment areas of several tanks like Himayathsagar and Musi River, Owaisi said. (NSS)