Irrigation minister N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Friday dismissed the visit to the Medigadda barrage by the BRS, calling it “laughable.” He also asked if BRS working president K.T. Rama Rao, who was leading the BRS entourage, was more of an expert on barrages than the National Dam Safety Authority (NDSA) which had clearly said that no water should be stored at the barrage in its current condition.

Speaking to media persons at the Secretariat, Uttam Kumar Reddy pointed out that on February 13, former chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, who was the irrigation minister from 2019, had called the Medigadda barrage a ‘bondalagadda (graveyard)’ during a speech in Nalgonda. “KCR questioned why Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy and some of us went to Medigadda that day. Today, his party leaders went there. After their visit, they should issue a public apology to the people,” Uttam Kumar Reddy said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy declared, “Our government will take criminal action against those responsible as per law.” The Vigilance & Enforcement Wing (V&D) had been tasked with fixing responsibility for various lapses, mistakes, and actions that had thrown the project into jeopardy after the partial collapse of the Medigadda


On comments made by Sriram Vedire, the adviser to the Union Jal Shakti minister, suggesting that the Congress government was not providing documents sought by the NDSA, Uttam Kumar Reddy said, “What the NDSA has asked for is not available because these reports do not exist.”

He said the then BRS government had ensured that none of the required checks, inspections, or investigations were carried out at the barrage. “Our government is ready to provide every assistance to NDSA’s expert committee,” he said. On when work could begin to either restore or repair the barrages, Uttam Kumar Reddy said the NDSA had assured that it could submit an interim report in a month and the work could be taken up before the onset of monsoon. 

“Any move forward will be based on advice from the NDSA,” the minister said. He said the government had requested L&T, the company that built the Medigadda barrage, to take up repairs at its cost. With respect to reports that L&T had sub-contracted work to another company that was not on the books, Uttam Kumar Reddy said investigations were continuing to get information on that aspect.

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