Finance Minister T Harish Rao lashed out at the BJP government at the Centre for unleashing false propaganda against the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS). He strongly condemned the corruption charges levelled by union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in the execution of the project.

In a strong counter, Harish Rao criticised the union Ministers for making irresponsible statements in sharp contrast to their earlier remarks and resorting to mudslinging with political motives. He pointed out that Shekhawat as well as his Cabinet colleague Bishweshwar Tudu have repeatedly informed the Parliament that there was no corruption in execution of the Kaleshwaram project.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi lauded the project, while union Minister Nitin Gadkari termed it as growth engine of Telangana. The Jal Shankti Minister and his colleague too appreciated the project execution on various forums,” the Minister said. He reminded that Central Water Commission chairman Masood Hussain called the Kaleshwaram project as an engineering marvel, while the Power Finance Corporation chairman Rajiv Sharma strongly defended loans given to the project and fund utilisation by the State government.

He ridiculed the union Minister’s remarks over lack of all permissions and reminded that all approvals pertaining to the project were given by the Centre. “The union government also cleared approvals for obtaining loans from

funding agencies. 

By making false accusations, Shekhawat is finding fault with himself and his own government,” he added. He stated that the Kaleshwaram project was constructed by the same company which was executing the Central-funded Polavaram project in Andhra Pradesh.

On flooding of the pump houses, the Minister clarified that during recent floods, Godavari River witnessed highest flood level since 1986. The Kaleshwaram project was executed as per the designs approved after taking into consideration of the flood levels recorded in 1986 (107.05 metres), but the Godavari River recently witnessed flood level of 108.2 metres.

“Due to this unprecedented flood, the water inundated the pump houses. As the power supply from the sub-station was disrupted due to the incessant rains, the water could not be pumped out immediately,” he said. Only two of the 21 pump houses of Kaleshwaram project got submerged in the flood water and they are being restored on a priority basis.

The Minister declared that all the pump houses were in fine condition and the two pump houses which suffered the flooding will be ready by the end of September. He assured to supply irrigation water for Yasangi (Rabi) crop as well.

SC Development Minister Koppula Eeshwar, MLAs Mutha Gopal, Manik Rao, Sandra Venkata Veeraiah and MLC Tata Madhu also participated.

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