Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and urged him to provide Rs 20,000 crore for the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project being built across the Godavari river.
During the hour-long meeting, the Chief Minister brought to the notice of the Prime Minister various demands pending with the Central government since the formation of the state four years ago.
Stating that Kaleshwaram is a lifeline for Telangana, Rao said the project being built at an estimated cost of Rs 80,000 crore aims to irrigate 18 lakh acres across 20 districts and provide water for drinking and industrial purposes.
The Chief Minister told Modi that in addition to the Rs 25,000 crore budgetary provision for the project, the state government obtained Rs 22,000 crore loans from financial institutions. He urged Modi to extend financial help of Rs 20,000 crore.
This was Rao’s first meeting with Modi since the former floated the idea of a federal front as an alternative to both the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.
The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) chief has met leaders of various regional parties in the past few months to mobilize support for the proposed front.
KCR, as the TRS chief is popularly known, submitted 10 memorandums to Modi, listing various pending issues. According to the Chief Minister’s Office, the Prime Minister responded positively to the issues raised by him.
KCR told Modi that even four years after the formation of Telangana, the state is yet to have its own high court and requested one at the earliest.
The TRS chief informed him that out of 29 judges of the common high court at Hyderabad for both the Telugu states, only six are from Telangana.
“The Union Law Minister had given an assurance on the floor of Parliament to expedite the process to have a separate high court. The process may be expedited, and the Law Ministry may be directed to take immediate steps for establishment of separate high court for the residuary state of Andhra Pradesh without any further delay,” he said.
KCR sought adequate funds to the state to develop the Information Technology Investment Region (ITIR) in Hyderabad, as per the already approved scheme.
Expressing dismay over Union Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad’s recent statement that the Central government has dropped the ITIR scheme, KCR said if the government does not implement the ITIR scheme even after launching it five years ago, it will dent the credibility of the government.
He pointed out that the state government had submitted a Detailed Project Report (DPR) delineating land parcels to be covered under ITIR and identifying trunk Infrastructure Projects related to the land parcels. Some anchor companies have already started setting up industries.
KCR urged Modi to issue a new Presidential Order, incorporating the new zonal system finalized by the state government. The zonal system is aimed at ensuring equitable opportunities to the people belonging to different parts of the state.
Stating that the railway network in Telangana is below the national average, KCR called for early completion of various critical railway projects.
The TRS chief also urged the Prime Minister to direct the Defence Ministry to expedite the proposal of transfer of defence lands for construction of new Secretariat building and for the Strategic Road Development project.
KCR called for sanctioning an Indian Institute of Management for Telangana and for setting up an Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) in Karimnagar.