Telangana: Uttam ridicules BRS’ Medigadda visit, seeks KCR’s apology

Hyderabad Desk

Hyderabad: Telangana Irrigation minister N Uttam Kumar Reddy stated that former chief minister K Chandrashekhar Rao should personally visit the Kaleshwaram project to witness the “disaster” he caused to Telangana and apologize to the people of Telangana “instead of delegating the task to other BRS leaders.”

Addressing a press conference at Jala Soudha on Wednesday, February 28, he remarked that it was extremely foolish and arrogant for BRS leaders to talk about giving a “Chalo Medigadda” call.

He added, “From our government’s side, we’ve instructed the officials to extend full cooperation to the BRS leaders and let them inspect Medigadda and other barrages. But whatever the government has to do, it will do,” he said, emphasizing that the BRS’s call was nothing but a “political gimmick.”

‘KCR should apologise’

However, Uttam Kumar Reddy insisted that KCR should visit the Kaleshwaram project himself and apologise to Telangana.

“KCR was not only the chief minister but also the irigation minister. He acted as the chief designer, chief planner, and chief architect of the project. Therefore, it should be KCR who visits Kaleshwaram and tender an apology, not others who know nothing about it,” he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy reminded that the Congress government led by chief minister A Revanth Reddy had invited KCR to the Assembly to speak on the Kaleshwaram project and explain the “fiasco and fraud” that occurred in the name of irrigation.

“We even offered to arrange a helicopter for KCR to visit Kaleshwaram, but he is not coming out,” he said.

He said that leaders not directly involved in the projects were planning to go to Kaleshwaram.

“Even former minister KT Rama Rao (KTR) had stated that he was not in the loop regarding irrigation projects. Someone who designed, planned, and did the engineering is not going. The visit of other leaders is only a political gimmick and drama,” he emphasized.

Vigilance report to be submitted soon: Uttam

The Irrigation minister informed that the director general of the vigilance department briefed him about the status of the inquiry. He stated that the vigilance report would be submitted soon.

“Based on the vigilance report, we will file cases against whoever is guilty of the act. We will go as per the law, and we will take legal opinion to proceed against all failures,” he announced.

When asked about an FIR already filed suspecting “sabotage” to the Medigadda barrage, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the police have been directed to continue their inquiry into the allegation.

However, he dismissed BRS’s contentions regarding damage to Medigadda and other barrages as “ridiculous.”

He said that irrigation projects should withstand earthquakes and survive for at least 100 years.

Citing examples of Nagarjuna Sagar, Srisalam, Sriram Sagar, and Nizam Sagar projects, he criticized the Medigadda project works for collapsing in less than three years. “But still, BRS leaders are talking big,” he remarked.

The minister said that the state government has assigned the total inquiry of damage to the piers of the Medigadda Barrage and leakages in the Annaram and Sundilla barrages to the National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA).

“Based on the NDSA findings, further action, including repairs and options to utilize the project, will be explored,” he said, adding that a project on which Rs 94,000 crore has already been spent cannot be “abandoned entirely.”

He also contended that the Kaleshwaram project’s design and planning were faulty and unscientific. He argued that worldwide, barrages are used to regulate water and not for storage.

“However, in Medigadda barrages, the storage was 16 TMCs. Similarly, the NDSA cautioned about the Annaram and Sudilla barrages. As per the CAG report, even the Mallanna Sagar, the biggest storage dam, is under a seismic zone,” he added.

On judicial probe

Regarding the judicial inquiry, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court had expressed the inability to spare a sitting judge for the investigation. Therefore, he said other options for engaging a retired judge for the inquiry were being explored.

He concluded by stating that the money wasted on the Kaleshwaram project would forever burden Telangana. He warned that this would prove to be a curse for the state, alleging that KCR destroyed the future of Telangana.

“People who should tender an unconditional apology to the people are trying to defame the Congress government,” he said.

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