So far, officials have been asked to send superficial data on irrigation projects, water availability and power generated
Even as the pace of the bifurcation process is gaining momentum with the Group of Ministers on Telangana meeting for the second time on Saturday, an impression is gaining ground among Seemandhra leaders and even officials that the GoM is performing just a perfunctory exercise.
The importance initially attached to the GoM raised expectations that it would seek detailed reports on irrigation, power, revenue, employment and on the status of Hyderabad. But, so far, officials have been asked to send only superficial data on the number of irrigation projects, water availability and power generated by APGenco in Telangana and Seemandhra regions.
However, a detailed report has been sought on the tricky question of whether to do away with Article 371(D) and how to go about it. This constitutional provision, which is part of the Presidential Order, provides protection to employees of six regions through local and zonal reservations. A report on this has been sought and sent to the GoM.
However, in all the key departments, there has been no request so far for comprehensive reports. “Why should we offer information that has not been sought? They sought data and we provided it. In fact, we got a message in the morning a couple of days ago from the Ministry concerned and they wanted the data by evening. That is how superficial the exercise is,” an official said.
The official said the Centre may get back later for more details. As of now, the data is far removed from the ground situation and no objective conclusion can be drawn, he added.
For instance, Telangana region has 2,541 MW of hydel capacity and Seemandhra 1,146 MW but they actually supplied only eight per cent of power in a year when the monsoon was good. In contrast, 5,100 MW of thermal projects in the State account for 40 per cent of power generated. On paper, Telangana may seem to be doing well with a greater share of hydel projects but the ground reality is something else.
Senior officials contrast the work of GoM with the Srikrishna Committee. The latter did meticulous work independently by engaging Delhi-based professional organisations for an objective assessment of the availability of resources in the State.
Apart from vast information compiled in the Srikrishna Committee report, huge back-up and supplementary information is stacked for asking in Centre-State Relations Department at New Delhi with subject-wise analysis.
If the GoM wanted to do a sincere job, the Srikrishna Committee report is enough in addition to the updated data. In fact, it recommended measures to be followed for smooth apportioning of resources. But the Centre seems to have none of it in its anxiety to complete the process, he said.