Andhra Pradesh

DRC meet breaks no new ground

Botcha Satyanarayana greeting TDP MLC Samantakamani at the meet in Anantapur on Monday.

Botcha Satyanarayana greeting TDP MLC Samantakamani at the meet in Anantapur on Monday.  

Members stuck with previous issues which didn’t see much progress

At the third District Review Committee meeting here on Monday, the proceedings looked like a repeat of the earlier meeting held two months ago with Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy in the chair, as no new topic came up for discussion nor action taken report from the previous meeting discussed threadbare to avoid repetition.

Like the two previous DRC meetings here, irrigation and drinking water issues dominated the proceedings that lasted more than four hours with in-charge Minister Botcha Satyanarayana chairing it. The vocal MLAs like Kethireddy Venkata Rami Reddy of Dharmavaram, Topudurthi Prakash Reddy, Anantapur Urban MLA Anantha Venkatarami Reddy and Puttaparthi MLA Duddukunta Sreedhar Reddy hogged the limelight and spoke about irrigation issues like filling of tanks, release of water to ayacut and housing.

Minor Irrigation Superintending Engineer Maqbool told the meeting that 1,303 MI tanks out of 1,468 had received water during rains this year and 831 of them were filled between 25% and 100%. Madakasira MLA M. Thippeswamy demanded immediate repair to the breached Gangulavaipalyam tank, to which the officials said estimates for ₹20 lakh had been sent and work would be taken up soon.

Encroachments

Focus then shifted to encroachment of tanks in Guntakal and Dharmavaram and acquisition of land for a tank in Atmakur in Rapthadu constituency, to which the in-charge Minister asked the MLAs to provide support to the officials to clear all the encroachments with the help of police personnel for restoration of the tanks.

Drinking water issue, which was discussed in the last meeting, cropped up again and focus turned on to getting all the mandals declared as drought-affected as the rainfall in the district was deficient till September-end. Ironically, Joint Director of Agriculture Habib Basha painted a rosy picture of agriculture saying there were good rains, though late, and told the meeting that 87% of normal area of kharif crop was sown in 6.17 lakh hectares and out of 1.14 lakh hectares of target for rabi 60,000 hectares was sown. Mr. Basha said 120% crop sowing and yield was expected in rabi due to late heavy rains in September and October this year.

Finger-pointing

At every juncture in the meeting there was stress on finding fault with the manner of implementation of schemes during the TDP rule and the Agriculture Department was asked to recover sprinklers and rain guns from the people, who had taken it from the department, and let it out to others on a rotation basis.

The MLAs alleged that lakhs of rupees were swindled in the scheme meant for purchase of small and large tractors.

Mr. Botcha Satyanarayana sought list of beneficiaries (320 small and 864 big) from the agriculture officials and also wanted them to verify if they were being used or sold to agencies or people in other States, as was being alleged.

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Printable version | Feb 18, 2020 7:11:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/drc-meet-breaks-no-new-ground/article29947814.ece

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