With the general strike being called off and TRS on the defensive over Polavaram project contract, Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu is mulling foraying into the Telangana region to visit drought-hit districts in November.

Mr. Naidu had been avoiding touring the region ever since the agitation demanding Telangana picked up pace with the call for a general strike. Telangana Telugu Desam Forum leaders themselves got cold reception where ever they went with demonstrations by TRS cadre dogging them. Now that the intensity of the agitation appears to have come down, he feels this is the right time to connect with the people especially farmers when they were reeling under severe drought conditions, TDP sources said.

To see that it does not become so apparent, Mr. Naidu may launch his yet another long tour from the worst affected Anantapur district in Rayalaseema region most likely on November 2 or 5. From Anantapur he will proceed to other Rayalaseema districts and round off the tour visiting those in Telangana.

Writes to Kiran

Meanwhile, Mr. Naidu wrote a letter to Chief Minister, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy demanding cancellation of the tenders called for Polavaram project as it was full of irregularities. All files relating to the tenders should be kept before the Assembly Speaker who should convene a meeting of floor leaders immediately to discuss the issue. Tenders should be called afresh in a transparent manner.

‘Large-scale corruption'

He said it was unfortunate that the irrigation projects meant for future generations were reduced to a money -spinning racket for the ruling party leaders. There was large-scale corruption in the calling of tenders, payment of compensation to the displaced persons, digging of canals and execution of the projects. Polavaram project was no different.

Escalating cost

Works began at a cost of Rs. 7850 crore in 2004 and it was planned to be completed in five years. Though Rs.4000 crore was spent but the project is no where. More than completing the project, it was used for making money. The latest attempt to call for tenders and allotting it to ineligible company was part of this plan.

Mr. Naidu demanded a thorough review of the rehabilitation package for the lakhs of tribals to be displaced keeping in view the provisions of the national land acquisition and relief and rehabilitation bill. He also wanted the State Government to pursue with the Centre taking up Pranahita-Chevella project as a national project along with Polavaram.

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