Special Correspondent

Centre to work in tandem with State Government for development of the region

Stone laid for Outer Ring Road project in HyderabadStress on improved irrigation facilitiesPat for YSR's initiative on irrigation projects

HYDERABAD: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, while making a specific reference to the backwardness of Telangana districts, has said the region is subjected to gross neglect over the past decade.

"We are committed to giving the region a new lease of life. I wish to reiterate the Government's commitment on the matter," he maintained after laying the foundation stone for the first phase of the Hyderabad Outer Ring Road Project at Shamshabad near here on Tuesday.

He said the Centre would work in tandem with the State Government and strive to develop the region along with other parts of the State.

He said investments into the irrigation sector of Andhra Pradesh in the last eight to 10 years were not done, as they ought to be resulting in farmers ending their lives in frustration.

Irrigation facilities

Saying improved irrigation facilities were the key to bring a turnaround in the fortunes of rural India, he said plans were afoot to bring over one crore hectares of land under cultivation with better irrigation facilities.

Dr. Singh said the State Government had taken the lead in irrigation infrastructure projects and lakhs of farmers in all regions of the State were bound to reap the benefits in the years to come.

He commended Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy for his massive irrigation initiative wherein budgetary allocation to the irrigation sector was increased four-fold in the last two years.

Growth rate

Painting a buoyant picture of the nation's future, Dr. Manmohan Singh said poverty, hunger deaths and disease could be wiped off from the face of the country in the next eight to 10 years if the current economic growth rate of 8 per cent was sustained and carried on.

"This is not a daydream but a distinct possibility provided we give great impetus to rural infrastructure, particularly irrigation, to achieve the target of 8 per cent annual growth rate," he maintained.