Telangana government puts Mission Kakatiya on hold

Works to resume in October

Hyderabad: With the onset of the monsoon, the Telangana state government has decided to halt Mission Kakatiya. Though the target was to repair 9,306 tanks this year, work could be grounded for 6,667. The government plans to resume works for the remaining tanks in October, after the monsoon ends. The programme aims to repair 46,531 tanks in the state over a period of five years with an expenditure of nearly Rs 25,000 crore.

Unless the government learns from its follies this year and take corrective measures, the chances of meeting this huge task looks difficult. Irrigation minister T. Harish Rao, however, expressed complete satisfaction with the progress of Mission Kakatiya in the first year, terming it as the “biggest miracle” in TS. “We are not at all upset over not meeting the target this year. In fact, grounding works in about 6,700 tanks within three months itself is a big achievement. Earlier, just 500-600 tanks used to be repaired in the entire year, that too to benefit contractors and workers of the ruling party. But in Telangana state, it is being done as a mass programme with the involvement of locals, villagers, farmers, students and others voluntarily. It gives me immense pleasure to see entire villages/towns working towards renovating tanks in a festive atmosphere,” he said.

Adding that the programme had created history in Telangana state, Mr Rao said, “Over Rs 2,500 crore has been sanctioned for tanks in a year, which was not spent even during 60 years in united AP. Over 3.50 crore cubic metres of silt was removed and transported to agriculture fields for using as nutrient/fertiliser, which will enhance crop production by 20 to 30 per cent.”

Mr Rao said the one big lesson the government learnt was to begin the works for the second phase — of restoring another 9,000 tanks — by this December itself so that the works can be completed successfully by June next year. “Had we started the works by January this year, we could have completed the works in all 9,000 tanks by now. Since it was the first year, it took some time to coordinate with various departments. We could start works in March. In spite of this, we could launch and complete works in nearly 6,700 tanks. But these experiences will help us plan meticulously and achieve targets in the next four years,” Mr Rao remarked.

Read: Mission Kakatiya delivering results in 1st year of launch

However, the political rivalry between TRS and Opposition parties, and political one-upmanship within TRS leaders obstructed works in hundreds of tanks, especially in Karimnagar, Nizamabad and Mahbubnagar. The helpline numbers in Mr Harish Rao’s department received hundreds of complaints regarding this following which the department intervened and ensured commencement of works in nearly 200 tanks within two days.

TRS MLAs were keen on launching the works in their constituencies and wanted their names to be mentioned on the foundation stones. They thus could not give time to each and every village. Besides, rivalry with MLAs from Opposition parties also halted works in over 580 tanks, TRS leaders in these constituencies wanted preference to be given to them in the launch functions, which opposition MLAs were against. “We will take special measures in future to ensure that there is minimal political interference in this noble initiative,” Mr Rao said.

( Source : deccan chronicle )
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