Telangana needs Rs 8,000 crore for rehabilitation work
Hyderabad: The state government requires over Rs 8,000 crore to pay compensation and take up rehabilitation work for the irrigation projects in TS. While the state government has decided to allot Rs 25,000 crore in the Budget this year for irrigation projects — the highest-ever allocation to any sector so far — nearly 40 per cent of the amount will go for compensation and rehabilitation alone. Despite the higher allotment, it would be a difficult task for the government to meet targets due to financial constraints.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has set himself an ambitious target of bringing over one crore acres under irrigation by spending Rs 1.25 lakh crore over the next four years. To achieve this, he announced allotment of Rs 25,000 crore for irrigation projects every year, starting 2016-17. For this, Mr Rao has lined up 16 projects which involve re-engineering of existing projects besides new projects. Land acquisition for Palamuru-Ranga Reddy project and Pranahitha-Chevella project has turned too costly for the TS government.
The government needs to pay around Rs 500 crore towards power charges alone to take up five lift irrigation projects, besides another Rs 800 crore towards salaries and perks for officials and staff working on projects.
Among the lift irrigation projects, the SLBC-Dindi requires Rs 200 crore power charges, Devadula Rs 225 crore, Kalwakurthy Rs 30 crore, Nettempadu Rs 24 crore and Bheema Rs 5 crore. Irrigation minister T. Harish Rao said, “Though compensation and rehabilitation are posing a huge financial burden on the government, it is unavoidable for the smooth completion of irrigation projects. If not, the projects will end up in legal tangles and deadlines cannot be met. We are offering market price for land acquired for projects for speedy completion.”
Even in Undivided AP, the highest Budgetary allocation for irrigation was Rs 17,500 crore for the Jalayagnam projects, of which Rs 12,000 crore was spent. In TS, Rs 8,140 crore was allotted in 2015-16 Budget, but Rs 5,550 crore has been spent till now. However, with a significant chunk of the Budget funds going towards compensation and rehabilitation, contractors are apprehensive of government clearing construction bills on time due to limited financial resources.