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Naidu says image of Revenue dept is poor

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Taking the cold war to a new height, chief minister Chadrababu Naidu took a dig at the deputy chief minister K E Krishnamurthy, who was sitting by his side on stage of collectors conference, by referring to corruption in revenue department.

It is well known that the corruption in the Revenue department has become bone of contention for the differences between the chief minister and deputy chief minister, who is also the revenue minister. Just 48 hors ago, having received complaints of large scale irregularities, chief minister Naidu vetoed 23 transfers of deputy collector effected at the instance of KE Krishnamurthy. It was second time that Revenue ministers faced the disapprobation of chief minister in the matter of transfers.

Today in the full view of media and before the district collectors and all senior officials of the state, the chief minister again raised the corruption in Revenue department. Naidu expressed extreme anguish about the corruption rates in some departments, and revenue department topped the list.
” Revenue department has earned a lot of negative perception among the people. People are viewing this department as synonym for corruption. You work hard to erase the negative feeling among the people and earn kudos,” he told addressing revenue department.

The CM wondered at double digit growth in corruption instead of development in revenue department. He said it will not be entertained any longer and said reforms are in place to change the public perception of the department. “Like never before all the land records are being digitised and “Mee Intiki Mee Bhoomi” initiative has been taken up to correct the mistakes in the records. Questioning the rationale in issuing dozens of certificates from revenue department Naidu stressed on the need for simplifying the procedures.

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Pushkaralu Full of Corruption : Kanna

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Exposing uneasy relationship  between the  Bharatiya Janata Party and ruling Telugu Desam party, former minister and BJP leader Kanna Lakshminarayana made a scathing attack on the government that Godavari Pushkara arrangements were reeking of corruption everywhere.

Kanna’s hard talk is sure to rustle Telugu Desam jimmies as the ruling party has never expected such discontent spring from state BJP.

Even though a section in the BJP feels  that TDP is not accommodating the  party workers at any level,  state BJP leadership has never allowed this grow to the level of causing discomfort in the alliance in the state. There has been a gulf between the group unhappy with TDP and BJP  state leadership which has cordial relationship with the TDP leadership. Kanna’s outburst is indicative of  tension building up in the party.

Today,Kanna, along with local BJP leaders visited many Pushkara Ghats in and around Rajahmundry.

“Nowhere are the works of Pushkaralu up to satisfactory. Except the main ghat in Rajahmundry which is often visited by chief minister Chadrababu Naidu  , Ghat works are incomplete everywhere. At a particular ghat I visited not even 10 per cent of the total works have been completed. Out of the estimated cost of the Rs 42 lakh, the works completed would not cost more than two lakhs,” Kanna said.

He said  there was more hype than the substance in the government’s Pushkara campaign.

” It is unfortunate that corruption has crept into the sacred works of Godavari Pushkaralu. Government should ensure that the event which should remain the symbol of Telugu people pride and culture be free from corruption,” he cautioned the government.

Kanna, who is now camping in Rajahmundry, took strong objection to the marginalization of the BJP minister Manikyala Rao in the chief minister Chandrababu Naidu’s cabinet.

“He has been kept in the dark with regard to the decisions related to the Pushkaralu. He is not being consulted in the works and programs, even though he is minster for endowments,” Kanna said.

Kanna was also critical of chief minister Naidu’s stance in the case related to MRO Vanajakshi who was attacked Dunduluru MLA Ch Prabhakar.

“Naidu appears to be working towards striking a deal. It looks like he is biased in favor of his party MLA,” he said adding that it would not instill confidence  among the woman officers in the state.

However, home minister Nimmakayala Rajaiah, dismissed the remarks of Kanna as baseless.

” Kanna is not aware of full scale of works and mechanism in place to watch the quality of the works,,” he said. According to the minister, a JNTU team was on the job of verifying the works for their quality.

Rajahmundry MLA Gorantla Buchhaiah Chowdary said the question of sidelining the endowments minister doesn’t arise as the CM Naidu himself in overseeing every work.

 

 

 

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Palamuru Vs Pattiseema: Water Politics in AP and TS

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Though textbooks say water is colorless, tasteless and odorless- in practice water smells corruption, is colored by politics and always tastes bitter as has been proven in the case of all irrigation projects in Andhra Pradesh and its successor states.

A report “Corruption risks and governance challenges in the irrigation sector” prepared by Water Integrity Network says, “The (water) sector deals with a basic human need and is thus socially and politically sensitive. This, as well as the monopolistic and capital intensive character of water supply services, creates an enabling environment for corruption.”

Political parties in power always tend to give top priority to major irrigation and infrastructure projects as societal and personal gains are huge. This is the driving force for  taking up the huge irrigation projects (infrastructure projects like thermal plants) without proper study, cooked up data, exaggeration of benefits, understatement of risks, favorable calculation of benefits versus costs.

One can find all these aberrations in the CAG report (2012, Andhra Pradesh, Report 2, Chapter.3). Projects are rarely sent to Central Water Commission (CWC) for clearance. Palamuru- Ranga Reddy Lift Irrigation Project and Pattiseema are no exception.

As all objectives of these projects are couched in the  language of development- improving livelihoods of poor, arresting farmers’ suicides, providing drinking water to capitals and industrialization, few dare question them directly. All fall in line and support these projects emotively pushing the corruption and politics under carpet.

Palamuru-RR project: Chief minister KCR laid for the project in mid-June. The cost of the project is whopping Rs 32,250 crore. It envisages “to irrigate upland ayacut of 10 lakh acres, drinking water to Hyderabad and industrial use in Mahabubnagar, Rangareddy and Nalgonda districts, by lifting 90 TMC of flood water in 60 days during flood season from foreshore of Srisailam Project located on Krishna river in Mahabubnagar district to Laxmidevipally near Shadnagar, which is the highest elevation in between Mahabubnagar and Ranga Reddy districts. AP’s TDP government wrote a letter to CWC chairman to state the project, along with Nakkalagandi, planned on the surplus waters of Krishna, is being taken up without approval from by Krishna River Management Board (KRMB). AP said this project violates the bifurcation Act-2014.

Pattiseema Lift Irrigation project: Andhra Pradesh is taking up this project as a part of the Polavaram Project. The view has no takers outside government. As the head works of polavarm need about four years, TDP government says,  it is proposed to divert the waters of Godavari to Krishna river by lifting water by 30 turbine pumps, each of 8 cumecs, at a cost of Rs 1300 crore. Political parties, farmers association cried foul of the project and said the project was a sheer waste of money. Even sections of BJP have reservation. They all say that it is better to spend the money on Polavaram to expedite the completion. Everybody suspected corruption. TDP, however, raised the bogey of development, farmers, suicides, Krishna water to Rayalaeema, to silence opposition.

Chief Minister KCR asked Andhra Pradesh to tell if Galeru Nagari, Telugu Ganga, Handri-Neeva Projects had CWC clearance. CAG lends support of KCR argument. Many Jalayagnam Projects have been taken up without clearance. Some projects such as Gandikota-CBR project are taken up even without sending DPR to CWC. Half of the YSR’s Jalayagnam projects are planned without water availability. Andhra Projects need more water than what is available in Krishna River.

Mystery of Flood water: All projects are planned on Flood water. According to Palamuru GO the project draws flood water for 60 days in a season. How many days the flood water is available in Krishna? CAG cites an expert committee report and says the flood days are just 30 and dependability is 45 per cent. While Palamuru needs 60 flood-days, Handri-Neeva is planned to draw flood water for 120 days. With every new project the availability of flood water gets progressively reduced. Where is the water for new projects, a mystery.

Since both states are resorting to build projects on mythical surplus water, they can settle down these issues through negotiations. But, given the regional hatred between the ruling parties, this is unlikely to happen. In fact, experts like S Jeevananda Reddy have alternative mechanisms to address the water needs of Hyderabad. Talking to Telugu360.com, Jeevananda Reddy, a former UN expert, said by arresting wastage of water in Hyderabad, water could be supplied without going in for massive projects which need thousands of crores.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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