Staff Reporter

Centre is yielding to pressure tactics of Telangana leaders: RKS

Union Ministry of Environment dilly-dallying on according clearance for the project

‘Ponnala ‘misusing’ his power for stalling the move for national status for Indira Sagar’

BHIMAVARAM: P.A. Ramakrishna Raju, professor of Civil Engineering, S.R.K.R. Engineering College, and M.V. Suryanarayana Raju, vice-president of the Andhra Pradesh Rytu Karyacharana Samithi, on Monday raised apprehensions over the fate of Indira Sagar project allegedly due to the UPA government yielding to pressure tactics of the Telangana leaders spearheading a separatist movement.

Addressing a press conference here, they alleged that the UPA was trying to put on hold the project by giving in to the pressures from the vested interests working against the interests of Andhra-Rayalaseema farmers. They sought to know why the Centre was dodging over declaration of the Indira Sagar as a national project for the last six months.

Besides, the Union Ministry of Environment was dilly-dallying on according second clearance for the project even after fulfilment of all obligations by the State government.

The State government had enabled the Central government to develop the reserve forest in lieu of an area of 50,000 ha in Papi wildlife sanctuary to be lost in view of the rock-fill dam of Indira Sagara under construction by depositing of Rs 464 crore with the Central government and allotting the land for the purpose. Yet, there were no signs of the Ministry according environmental clearance, they said.

Mr. Ramakrishna Raju and Mr. Suryanarayana Raju appealed to the MLAs and MPs from the coastal Andhra to exert pressure on the UPA government for an early announcement of the national project status for the Indira Sagar and counter the efforts of Telangana leaders for scuttling it.

Mr. Suryanarayana Raju charged that Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah was ‘misusing’ his power for stalling the move for national status for Indira Sagar by advancing a counter claim for a similar status for the Pranahita and Chevella projects.

The peasant leader cautioned that the existence of Krishna and Godavari deltas spread over 24 lakh acres producing one crore tonnes of food grains every year would come under a serious threat if the Centre would buckle under pressure from any quarters with respect to the Indira Sagar.