Telangana focusing on unfinished agenda of water: KCR

Hyderabad:Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Wednesday said the state was now focussing on water resources, the unfinished agenda of the Telangana movement.

He vowed to irrigate one crore acres of land with the re-designing of irrigation projects and restoration of 46,000 tanks under the government’s flagship scheme Mission Kakatiya.

KCR, as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief is popularly known, also reiterated that the party will not seek votes in the next elections if it fails to provide drinking water connection to every household in the state under Mission Bhageeratha.

He was addressing the 15th plenary of the party and later a public meeting at Khammam. Braving the scorching heat, about 4,000 party leaders from across the state attended the day-long plenary.

Thousands of people attended the public meeting in the evening, which turned into a sort of election meeting for the May 16 by-election to Palair assembly seat in the district.

The Election Commission had given permission for the TRS to hold the plenary and the public meeting on the condition that the official machinery will not be used.

KCR, during his speech, referred to the Election Commission’s action in transferring the Khammam district collector, the superintendent of police and the returning officer on a complaint by the opposition Congress party, which alleged that the TRS was misusing official machinery for the by-election.

Welcoming the poll panel’s decision, KCR hit back at the Congress, saying the TRS need not resort to misuse of official machinery as it enjoyed the wholehearted support of the people as was evident from the results of all elections held in the state during the last two years.

He recalled that “water, funds and jobs” was the slogan of the Telangana movement and claimed that the state now has all funds at its disposal for its development and jobs are being provided for its people.

Referring to the severe drought and drinking water scarcity in the state, KCR said the TRS was trying to find a permanent solution to the recurring drought and drinking water problem by completing all irrigation projects and the two missions.

“It is painful to see pictures of dried wells and people walking kilometres to fetch water,” said the chief minister.

He promised that 6,200 villages will get piped drinking water supply by December this year while 95 percent of the state will be covered by next year.

Stating that there were no longer any power cuts in the state, KCR said the government overcame the problem within a short period. He promised 24-hour electricity supply for agriculture by the end of 2019.

KCR called upon all party leaders not to become arrogant or complacent because of the huge victories in the elections and rededicate themselves to achieving the goal of golden Telangana.

Stating that poverty eradication will be the next focus area, the TRS leader said that after spending Rs.2-2.5 lakh crore on irrigation, Mission Bhageeratha, Mission Kakatiya, electricity and road development, the funds will then be used to eliminate poverty.

Claiming that Telangana’s economy was growing rapidly, KCR said it grew by 15 percent in 2015-16.

“Telangana is one of the few revenue surplus states in the country. It will not be surprising if the budget for 2019-20 will be Rs.2 lakh crore,” he said.

He said the state, with its new industrial policy, gave permission for 1,600 industrial units, attracting investment of Rs.30,000 crore.

“There will be flood of investment into the state,” he added.

Noting that the state’s software exports were worth Rs.69,000 crore in 2015-16, he was confident that it will soon become the number one state in the information technology sector.

KCR also claimed that Telangana was the number one state in the country in welfare.

He said the government was spending Rs.35,000 crore annually on welfare schemes.

“Weaker sections account for 80 percent of the state’s population and a Bangaru (golden) Telangana is possible only with the development of all the sections,” he said.

He also said the TRS was the only party in the country to fulfill all poll promises.

He also referred to the double bedroom scheme for the poor and KG to PG free education.