NEW DELHI, HYDERABAD: Congress MP N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Friday demanded that the BJP and the TRS governments at Centre and the state clarify their stand on national project status for the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation scheme (KLIS).
"Both TRS and BJP governments must clarify as to why a project built at a cost of Rs 1.2 lakh crore and called Asia's biggest irrigation project is not eligible to be included in the list of national projects. If the project is not economically viable, then all those involved in its designing, construction and execution should be severely punished by ordering a high-level probe," he demanded.
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Uttam Kumar Reddy, a former state Congress chief, said that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao should reply on the Centre's stand that the Kaleshwaram project was not eligible to get national project status.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the TRS government did not seek investment clearance for the Kaleshwaram project as its benefit-cost ratio was too low, which makes it highly unviable.
“By redesigning the Dr B.R. Ambedkar Pranahita Chevella Project, the TRS government doubled the project cost to over Rs 1 lakh crore. It was built not to bring water to farmers but to fill the pockets of the KCR family,” he alleged. The TRS government was always hesitant to answer real questions on the exact capital cost, operational cost, cost-benefit ratio, viability and justification of taking high-cost loans for the Kaleshwaram Project.
"The Kaleshwaram project has benefited only the KCR family while the people of Telangana and their future generations are now forced to repay loans and interest from their hard-earned money," the former TPCC chief said.
Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the submergence of two pump houses of Kaleshwaram in recent rains had exposed the poor quality of work. "To cover up this failure, KCR came up with a ridiculous, utterly silly, immature and unscientific explanation of a foreign conspiracy behind cloud burst in Telangana," he said.
" BJP leaders are maintaining a strange silence on the irregularities in the Kaleshwaram project. The Centre has the proof of this big scam. Then why is the BJP government not ordering an inquiry, Uttam Kumar Reddy asked.
"The TRS government did not seek investment clearance and BJP government did not insist on it. Therefore, both TRS and BJP are equally involved in the scam," he alleged....