Railway Minister M. Mallikarjun Kharge on Wednesday made a fervent appeal to Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to give more importance to the development of infrastructure facilities, including roads, drinking water, irrigation projects and hostels for women in Hyderabad Karnataka.

Speaking after laying the foundation stone for a Rs. 23.70-crore underground drainage project for Gurmitkal town there on Wednesday, Mr. Kharge said the condition of roads in Hyderabad Karnataka was in a woeful condition.

He said that the State government should take up maintenance work on roads and give more importance to construction of new ones. Mr. Kharge said that the Surface Transport Minister Oscar Fernandes had approved upgrading the State highway connecting Putpak in Yadgir district to Chittapur in Gulbarga district, a stretch of 60 km, at a cost of Rs. 60 crore. Work is likely to begin soon.

Gurmitkal’s support

Mr. Kharge recalled his formative days in politics, and said that Gurmitkal, which elected him for nine successive terms in the Assembly, had shaped his political career and he would not forget this. “The people of Gurmitkal have always stood with the Congress, and I am grateful for this.”

He said when he was the Water Resources Minister in the S.M. Krishna Cabinet, the estimates for the project were drawn at his insistence. Initially officials put the cost of the project at Rs. 100 crore, taking into account the cost of constructing a new barrage across the Bhima. “I changed the design to allow water to be drawn from the existing barrage. The project was sanctioned in 2008,” he said.

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