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Delta modernisation: Minister, Congress MLA at loggerheads

Special Correspondent
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Only Rs. 200 crore works have been executed, says Minister

Freebies on offer:Kanna Lakshminarayana releases a poster on a populist scheme to be introduced by the State government at the meeting of the District Review Committee (DRC) in Eluru on Saturday.— Photo: A.V.G. Prasad
Freebies on offer:Kanna Lakshminarayana releases a poster on a populist scheme to be introduced by the State government at the meeting of the District Review Committee (DRC) in Eluru on Saturday.— Photo: A.V.G. Prasad

The West Godavari District Review Committee (DRC) which met here on Saturday witnessed heated arguments between Social Welfare Minister Pitani Satyanarayana and the ruling Congress MLA Karumuri Venkatanageswara Rao from Tanuku on the ‘poor progress’ in the Godavari western delta modernisation project. When the minister trained guns on the contractors entrusted with the project for their ‘poor show’, the MLA strongly backed the contracting agencies, leading to polemics between the two key ruling party leaders.

Mr. Satyanarayana said the government has sanctioned Rs.1,000 crore to execute the project and the farmers gave up the last rabi as part of the crop holiday enforced by the government enabling the project execution. But the contractors executed the works worth only Rs. 200 crore. With this, the farmers in the delta had foregone one crop worth Rs.1,000 crore and the government has lost its face in the public, he lamented. The Minister asked the authorities of the Irrigation department to blacklist the contractors failing to meet the deadline with regard to the project works.

The Tanuku MLA, however, held a brief for the contractors and cited the government’s reported inability to supply sufficient quantities of sand for the project works as the reason for the poor progress.

The Narsapur MP Kanumuri Bapi Raju and MLA Kothapalli Subbarayudu from the Congress also expressed serious displeasure over the delta modernisation project failing to inch ahead. Besides paddy, the farmers were forced to forego horticultural crops because of the government-induced crop holiday, they said.

Tourism Minister Vatti Vasanthakumar said the government could not afford to enforce any crop holiday due to the failure by the official machinery to achieve any tangible progress in the project works during the previous one. Short closure of the canals during the summer was only the alternative at this juncture to finish the pending works, he said.

Venkateswara Rao, Superintending Engineer of the Irrigation department, informed the members that the officials could complete the works worth Rs. 60 crore only during the short-term closure of the canals in the current summer.


  • Authorities asked to blacklist contractors failing to meet the deadline with regard to project works

  • Farmers forced to forego horticulture crops because of the government-induced crop holiday



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