Upping the ante against the Congress-led government, BRS working president KT Rama Rao held it squarely responsible for the severe scarcity of drinking water and irrigation water supply in Telangana. He demanded the State government to provide free water tanker service and withdraw bills issued for drinking water in Hyderabad and Secunderabad.

He also demanded the State government to pay compensation of Rs 25 lakh to the kin of 218 farmers who committed suicide due to withered crops under the current Congress rule, citing the remarks of Revanth Reddy as the then TPCC president in the past.

Addressing the media at the party headquarters in Telangana Bhavan on Wednesday, Rama Rao said citizens of Hyderabad and Secunderabad booked over 2.3 lakh water tankers including 1.3 lakh tankers from Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (HMWSSB), in March alone. “Thanks to the apathy of the incompetent Congress government, the water tankers are back in demand, with people standing in long queues and indulging in street-fights for a pot of water,” he said.

He slammed Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy for creating an ‘artificial drought’ like situation across the State due to the State government’s ‘inefficient’ management of the existing water resources. He also criticised the Chief Minister for stating that water tankers are being supplied to people within 12 hours. “The Chief Minister should be ashamed to make such claims and seeking an applause. Why are water tankers necessary in the first place? How can he say such things being the Chief Minister?” he asked.

Asserting that drinking water is an essential service and fundamental right of citizens, the BRS working president advised the State government against imposing charges. He reminded that during the BRS regime, the State government supplied 20,000 litres of drinking water to around 12 lakh families in Hyderabad and its surrounding areas free of cost.

He attributed the water crisis to the mismanagement of the Revanth Reddy-led government, citing instances such

as the drying up of the Lower Manair reservoir and the failure to utilise water from projects like Kaleshwaram. He debunked the State government’s claim that the crisis was due to below-average rainfall, citing data from the Indian Meteorological Department showing a 14 percent more rainfall than normal during last monsoon.

Rama Rao asserted the availability of around 40.54 TMC water in various reservoirs across the State, including Singur, Sripada Yellampally, Osman Sagar, Himayat Sagar, and Nagarjuna Sagar, for usage towards drinking water needs. He urged the government to utilise these resources efficiently. He suggested the State government to complete the Sunkishala project to extract water even from dead storage and also lift water from Sripada Yellampally to fill Kondapochamma Sagar to address Hyderabad’s drinking water needs.

Additionally, the former Minister demanded Rs 25 lakh in ex-gratia for the families of the 218 farmers who reportedly died by suicide after the Congress came to power. Stating that the list of 218 deceased farmers along with their addresses will be sent to the State government as requested by the Chief Minister, he demanded for providing immediate financial assistance to the families. “The Chief Minister is asking us about the veracity of the numbers that we furnished. He is the Chief Minister, let him find out the truth,” he said.

Rama Rao accused the Revanth Reddy government of indulging in political witch-hunting and attention diversion tactics to mislead people from real issues plaguing the State. “The Congress leaders led by Revanth Reddy are only interested in cheap politics and are making all efforts to prove that Kaleshwaram project is a failure and wastefull expenditure. If the same is true, the government must explain how the Gayatri and Nandi pumphouses began operations suddently after BRS chief K Chandrashekhar Rao visited Nalgonda and Suryapet districts. If there is no water, how could they release it from Mallanna Sagar after former Minister Harish Rao threatened to lift the gates, if the government does not respond,” he questioned.
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