KCR panel suggested building Tummidihatti project: Revanth

Hyderabad: Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy on Saturday disclosed the contents of an expert committee report “exposing” how former chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and former irrigation minister T. Harish Rao went ahead with the Medigadda barrage as part of the Kaleshwaram project, instead of Tummidihatti, against the recommendations of the committee of irrigation engineers constituted by the BRS government in 2015.

He said that the contents of the report, kept under wraps by the previous BRS government for 10 years, clearly stated that it was in favour of the construction of a barrage at Tummidihatti in Adilabad district.
The expert committee was constituted by “none other than then CM Chandrashekar Rao”, he said.
The five-member expert committee comprised senior irrigation engineers B. Ananta Ramloo, P. Venkat Rama Rao, S. Chandra Mouli, G. Damodar Reddy and M. Shyamprasad Reddy, Revanth Reddy said,
The committee clearly stated that the Pranahitha-Chevella project conceived by the previous Congress government in 2008 by constructing a barrage at Tummidihatti was the best option to lift Godavari water. “Except hydrology, cost appraisal and all clearances were obtained from Central Water Commission at the present location (Tummidihatti) of Pranahitha-Chevella lift irrigation scheme,” the committee noted.
Despite this, “(KCR) desired to study an alternative location on Godavari near Medigadda village, Mahadevpur mandal, Karimnagar district, up to Mid Manair,” the report noted.
Revanth Reddy said this committee's report was clear evidence to prove that the previous BRS government redesigned the Pranahitha-Chevella as the Kaleshwaram project to loot public money.
He said the Tummidihatti barrage, at a height of 152 metres, would have facilitated the easy flow of water through gravity to Mid Manair “but KCR decided to shift the barrage location to Medigadda at 100 metres and construct two more barrages at Annaram and Sundilla to lift water with ‘Bahubali’ pumping motors to Mid Manair to benefit contractors and thereby receive kickbacks from them.”
Revanth Reddy asked Harish Rao to give a “confession statement” during an inquiry by a competent authority on Kaleshwaram and give reasons why barrage was shifted from Tummidihatti to Medigadda, and who forced him to do so as irrigation minister.
The committee recommended that if the Tummidihatti's project level was reduced from 152 metres to 150 metres or 148 metres, as sought by the Maharashtra government to prevent the submergence of lands in their territory, it would not have any problem for the Pranahitha-Chevella project.
"By the above modifications, the proposed gravity canal need not be altered and can be retained as already approved,” it noted.
The committee said in its conclusion, “It is always better for the government to accept the concept of the Pranahitha-Chevella scheme near Tummidihatti village in Adilabad district and explore the ways and means to make it feasible. There is a feasibility of reducing the barrage height from 152 metres to 151 metres without altering the scope of the scheme.”
“The CM (KCR) may use his good offices for convincing the Maharashtra government to accept the proposal of barrage height to 151 metres. If the Maharashtra government still insists for further lowering the height to 150 metres, Telangana government can accept it. In both the above proposals, there will not be any financial loss to the work done portions,” the report stated.
The committee stated that the expenditure made on Pranahitha-Chevella by the previous Congress government from 2008 to 2014 will become “infructuous” if the barrage is shifted from Tummidihatti to Medigadda.
The approximate cost at Medigadda on work items up to Mid Manair works out to about Rs 24,000 crore, whereas the cost of all package works of the Pranahitha-Chevella scheme up to Mid Manair, is Rs 15,634 crore. The increase, due to the alternate proposal (Medigadda), would be Rs 8,366 crore.
“In addition to the above extra cost, the work done cost of all packages up to Mid Manair is approximately Rs 6,000 crore, which will become infructuous. Land acquisition expenditure is separate which will also be infructuous,” the report concluded.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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