MLAs should involve in MK III phase: Harish

Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao, who is on cloud nine for completion of two phases of Mission Kakatiya for lakes restoration, today called upon the MLAs to make success the third phase of the works beginning this month.

The minister shot a letter to the legislators and instructed them to involve people in the third phase of works to make it a big success. Explaining about the funds allotted, spent and lakes restored, the minister said that 10 per cent of ground water table has been increased and water storage capacity by 6.5 per cent which is a record in the State. “Mana Vooru Mana Cheruvu” program was launched in 2015 with an aim to irrigate 25 lakh acres by making use of waters in Krishna and Godavari basins for restoring 46,000 lakes he said.

The minister said the lakes restoration program proved handy for farming activity as fertilizers use has come down as de-silted soil shifted to the crops giving better yield. Of 17,000 lakes, 11,400 lakes were restored so far during two phases and directed the officials to restore the rest of 6600 lakes by May 31, he said, adding that out of Rs 5,660 crore administrative sanction, they paid Rs 2,000 crore bills so far. The lakes scheme bewas ing replicated by other States, while water man of India and Magsaysay awardee Rajendra Singh has appreciated the flagship program, he said.

Harish Rao also recalled that NITI Ayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagaria and several Union ministers appreciated the program and a Central team studied the program recently while an official team from Tamil Nadu is embarking on an official visit to Mission Kakatiya works in the State on April 10, Harish said. To curb corruption and to maintain transparency, all the related works are made available online besides the payment of the bills, he claimed.

For the third phase of works, 6,635 lakes were selected and the government is to approve the estimates of 6,231 lakes and gave administrative sanction of 4,000 lakes he said. Harish Rao also suggested that the MLAs should actively participate in the third phase of lakes restoration works by involving people. (NSS)