HYDERABAD: Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao lashed out at the Centre accusing it of showing 'indifferent attitude' towards Telangana state on tourism and heritage sectors.
Speaking during the Question Hour in the Legislative Assembly on Monday, the Chief Minister said the repeated requests of the state government to the Centre seeking due recognition to Telangana's rich culture, festivals, arts and traditions had fallen on deaf ears.
The Chief Minister alleged that the Centre was meting out gross injustice to Telangana even while announcing Padma awards every year as the names recommended by the state government for these awards were being ignored and several distinguished persons in various fields from Telangana were deprived of awards.
"When I met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union home minister Amit Shah during my recent Delhi visit, I questioned both on Padma awards issue. I asked them to tell whether they wanted the Telangana government to recommend names to the Centre for Padma awards or not. There are several distinguished artists and persons in Telangana who made valuable contributions to various fields. But when the state government proposes their names for the Padma awards, the Centre is simply ignoring them," Rao remarked.
The Chief Minister also came down heavily on the Centre for inordinate delay in granting approvals to set up at least airstrips at six major locations in Telangana to promote tourism, heritage and industry.
"It has been more than six-and-a-half years since we made this request to the Centre but nothing happened. When union civil aviation minister Scindia visited Hyderabad recently, I hosted lunch for him and requested him to speed up approvals to at least airstrips, if not airports. We have offered to set up these airstrips with our own funds if they give approvals. Despite this, the Centre has been sitting on our proposals for years," Rao added.
Referring to the state government's plans to promote Telangana heritage, culture and tourism, the Chief Minister said a committee would be formed with MLAs of all districts to take steps to identify, develop and showcase historical places, forts, scenic spots and unique temples in Telangana to the world.
He alleged that Telangana’s history, culture, traditions, and arts were not promoted for 58 years in undivided Andhra Pradesh. He pointed out that Telangana had wonderful waterfalls, the Pandavula Gutta hillock in Khammam and Jogulamba temple at Alampur among many others which were all neglected by successive governments.
After the formation of the state in 2014, the state government had taken up multiple programmes for promotion of the rich heritage, scenic locations and spiritual centres, he added.
The Chief Minister informed the House that the families of several royal dynasties were coming forward to hand over their ancient forts to the state government for developing them into tourist attractions.
“We will develop tourist spots using all the natural beauty of Telangana state. Due to the Kaleshwaram project, the 160-km long Godavari stretch is flowing with water all through the year creating numerous scenic locations. We have a lot of tourism potential thanks to available heritage structures, dense forests, waterfalls, scenic locations, spiritual centres and temples," Rao said.