Telangana govt promises drought relief measures

Hyderabad: Telangana government today promised to take concrete measures to provide relief to people from drought conditions prevailing in the state.

Funds would be no constraint in taking drought-relief measures, including providing drinking water to all habitations, IT and Panchayat Raj Minister K T Rama Rao said during a debate in the Assembly.

The government is also ready to provide funds from the Special Development Fund (Rs 4,675 crores earmarked in the Budget), he said.

He urged the MLAs to allocate funds from their constituency development fund which has now been raised to Rs three crore.

Agriculture Minister P Srinivasa Reddy said the recommendations of the MS Swaminathan committee on agriculture, including raising the minimum support price (MSP), should be implemented.

Congress members T Jeevan Reddy, K Venkata Reddy, TDP floor leader A Revanth Reddy and others demanded the government initiate measures for waiving taxes in the drought-hit areas, appointment of ministers and IAS officers as in-charges to oversee drought-relief measures.

The debate also saw a war of words between the treasury benches and the Opposition.

Srinivasa Reddy alleged that N Chandrababu Naidu, who was earlier Chief Minister in undivided Andhra Pradesh, did not relent on privatisation of state-run Nizam Sugars, despite his pleas as a member of the latter’s Cabinet.

Reddy claimed that during a meeting on the issue, Naidu hit him on the thigh and that his skin turned red.

However, he also said that Naidu, apologised to him on the matter and tried to cool him down.

Congress MLA Jeevan Reddy and Revanth Reddy asked why did Srinivasa Reddy continue as a minister when he did not agree with Naidu.

Srinivasa hit back saying why did Congress MLAs continue in their posts when the then Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy allegedly said he would not even give a rupee to Telangana.

As the heated atmosphere continued, Speaker S Madhusudanachary adjourned the House briefly. When it resumed, the debate continued.