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‘Father of irrigation’ K.L. Rao’s tomb in utter state of neglect

G. Venkataramana Rao
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K.L.Rao’s daughter shocked to see the state of the tomb; trash being dumped right next to the tomb

Crying for attention:Trash strewn around the tomb of K L Rao at Model Guest House in Vijayawada.— PHOTO: V. RAJU
Crying for attention:Trash strewn around the tomb of K L Rao at Model Guest House in Vijayawada.— PHOTO: V. RAJU

Former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru called the structures designed by him “modern temples”. Kanuri Lakshmana Rao, known more popularly as K.L. Rao, designer of Nagarjunasagar and Bhakra Nangal dams, is known as the father of the Indian irrigation system that is providing livelihood to millions.

K.L. Rao was a Union Minister in the Cabinets of Jawaharlal Nehru and Lal Bahadur Sastry and was awarded the Padma Bhushan for his services to the nation.

NTR’s interest

Former Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao took special interest to get his ashes entombed on the banks of the Krishna in the city. Then Irrigation Minister Tummala Nageswara Rao laid the foundation stone for the “K.L. Rao Sepulchre Beautification Project” on the premises of the Irrigation Department’s Model Guest House located right next to the Durga bathing ghat in 1987.

The tomb is in a highly neglected state with trash being dumped right next to it.

Former Union Secretary K. Sujatha Rao, daughter of K.L. Rao, was shocked to see the state of the tomb when she visited it a few days ago.

A temporary wire fencing erected to offer some sort of protection to the tomb is in a dilapidate state and has fallen down.

‘Insult to veteran’

“This is an insult to a personality who is as great as K.L. Rao,” said his nephew Mahaballeswara Rao. “It was originally proposed to entomb the ashes in Hyderabad, the State Capital, but then Chief Minister N.T. Rama Rao, who was also from Krishna District, said that the ashes should be entombed on the banks of a river and the tomb was established here,” he said.


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