Several projects in the state are facing fund crunch as the state government is spending half of the allocated funds in the budget for the irrigation sector on Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project alone. Twitter
HYDERABAD: Unscientific spending and excessive focus on a specific project that the state government considers a prestige issue are hampering the works of other projects.
According to data obtained from the irrigation department, several projects in the state are facing fund crunch as the state government is spending half of the allocated funds in the budget for the irrigation sector on Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project alone.
With this, the works on all other major and minor irrigation projects across the state are moving at a snail's pace as contractors halted works due to mounting payment arrears. The government owes bills worth Rs 7,583 crore to contractors, according to the data.
The state government allocated Rs 16,931 for the irrigation sector in the Budget 2021-22. Of this, the government has spent Rs 12,833 crore so far. Ironically, Rs 7,134 crore was spent on Kaleshwaram alone.
The government is relying mostly on loans to mobilise funds for irrigation projects. Out of Rs 7,134 crore that was spent on Kaleshwaram, `5,652 crore was mobilised through bank loans while Rs 1,482 crore was mobilised from budget, the data obtained from the irrigation department shows.
The non-payment of bills to contractors affected the works of Palamur-Rangareddy lift irrigation project, Devadula lift irrigation project, Sitharama lift irrigation project and even the construction of flood canals of various projects.
The government could spend only Rs 3,714 crore on Palamur-Rangareddy, Rs 259 crore on Devadula and Rs 366 crore on Sitharama. Out of Rs 3,714 crore spent on Palamur-Rangareddy, Rs 2,634 crore was mobilised through loans and Rs 1,080 crore from budget. Similarly, Rs 247 crore was mobilised through loans and Rs 12 crore from budget for Devadula, Rs 292 crore through loans and Rs 74 crore from budget for Sitharama project.
For construction of flood canals, the government mobilised Rs 464 crore through loans and Rs 79 crore from budget.
The government also owes huge arrears to contractors of minor irrigation projects. It owes Rs 500 crore arrears to contractors including Mission Kakatiya bills.