Medigadda: Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy on Tuesday declared that the government would not hesitate to invoke the Revenue Recovery Act to recover the money that was siphoned off in the guise of construction of the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation scheme, even as he ripped into BRS president K. Chandrashekar Rao for dismissing the sinking of the Medigadda barrage piers as a “minor problem,” and for “running away” to Nalgonda to hold a meeting to seek sympathy and to divert attention.

The Act empowers the government to recover dues to it from individuals or other entities under certain conditions. Speaking with reporters at Medigadda, Revanth Reddy said there was enough evidence with respect to massive corruption in the execution of the project as seen in the reports by the CAG and the Vigilance & Enforcement (V&E). For every irrigation project, the BRS government first issued tenders for smaller amounts and then revised project costs. This was also the case with Medigadda whose original estimates of Rs 1,849 crore were increased to Rs 4,650 crore. 

“Our government will invoke the R&R Act to recover money lost in this corruption from anyone who is involved,” Revanth Reddy said.
Bitterly attacking Rao, Revanth Reddy said, “KCR said the problem at Medigadda is just some broken pillars and asks what will go wrong because of this. If this is his reasoning, then why did he go to the hospital when he broke his leg?” Rao, he said, was being dishonest and knew how the Kaleshwaram project was built. 

“Since he has no defence, he and his party leaders skipped this official visit to Medigadda today,” Revanth Reddy said.

He took on the BJP for staying away from the visit, saying, “The BJP asks for a CBI probe. Is this because then the BJP and BRS can sit together and hammer out a deal? Their collusion will come to the fore in the Lok Sabha elections.” Earlier in the day in the Assembly, Revanth Reddy said that the state government would table the Vigilance & Enforcement (V&E) report on the Medigadda barrage and a White Paper on irrigation projects in the ongoing Assembly Budget Session.

Speaking before setting out for Medigadda, Revanth Reddy said that the House would debate the corruption and irregularities in execution of irrigation projects during the BRS regime which

caused a huge loss to state exchequer and pushed Telangana state into a debt trap. The Chief Minister was speaking after he chaired a review on KLIS at Medigadda. The gathering, that included several ministers including N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, and D. Sridhar Babu, Congress legislators and three AIMIM legislators who were joined by the CPI MLA K Sambasiva Rao. Kaleshwaram in-charge chief engineer Sudhakar Reddy, and Vigilance & Enforcement (V&E) director general Rajiv Ratan gave Powerpoint presentations on the lapses by irrigation officials and L&T with respect to Medigadda barrage. 

Revanth Reddy said, “KCR’s Nalgonda meeting was to seek sympathy for the coming Lok Sabha polls. That is why he was on a wheel chair. There he spoke as if he is the Satya Harischandra as if people doubt his honesty.” “For ten years, he looted and plagued the state. If he is truthful, he should have come to the Assembly, suggested changes to the resolution on KRMB. If he has nothing to hide, then he should clarify if the letter written by Smitha Sabharwal (a former CMO official) about projects hand over was of her own accord, or if it was under instructions from KCR.” 

Revanth Reddy said the Medigadda visit is an official programme. “There are many doubts, so I said lets all go to Medigadda, see for ourselves and have officials brief us. But KCR chose not to come and instead went to Nalgonda,” “He did not come to Assembly. Which is nearer for him, Assembly or Nalgonda? His Nalgonda visit is just a ploy to try take the heat off himself over the Kaleshwaram project debacle,” Revanth Reddy said. He said that despite spending Rs 94,000 crore and burdening the state with a recurring annual bill of Rs 10,000 crore for Kaleshwaram, just around 1,96,300 acres was irrigated out of the proposed ayacut of 19 lakh acres. 

“This proves that KCR’s claims of irrigating 1 crore acres a year is a lie. If this (Medigadda) was such a wonderful engineering work, then KCR should have come to show us the great job he did. But he did not,” he said. CPI MLA Sambasiva Rao said the cracks on the Medigadda barrage were not on the Kaleshwaram project but were on the hearts of the people of Telangana. “Everyone who is responsible for what happened must be punished and thrown into prison,” he said.

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