Minister for Agriculture S. Niranjan Reddy has criticised the Opposition parties for politicising the submergence of two pump houses of Kaleshwaram project amid unprecedented floods and forgetting that there had been similar incidents in the past in other States too.
Alleging that the Congress and BJP leaders were unable to digest the fact that Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had made Kaleshwaram project possible by taking it up at a location where water availability was highest in the Godavari course, the Minister said benefits of the project had made them more envious.
He pointed out that the senior-most engineers of Central Water Commission (CWC) had termed the project an engineering marvel, but the Congress and BJP leaders were unable to tolerate that even though the farming community was getting benefited. Talking to newspersons here on Sunday, he said the BJP and Congress leaders were alleging ₹2 lakh crore corruption in the project when the spending on it was ₹95,000 crore so far.
The Minister stated that even the CWC had acknowledged that floods in Godavari till Medigadda Barrage this time was highest in the last 500 years. As per CWC standards, flood at 103.5 metres at Kaleshwaram, in the upstream of the barrage, would be treated as warning level and 104.75 metres as danger level. The highest flood level (HFL) recorded there was 107.5 metres in 1986.
Based on the HFL, the barrages at Medigadda, Annaram and Sundilla as also the pump houses linked to them were designed. However, the HFL recorded in the river at Kaleshwaram on July 14 was 108.19 metres. He reminded the Congress and BJP leaders that Kurnool city was flooded badly when the Srisailam project received a flood of 25 lakh cusecs.
He accused the Congress of stifling Telangana in the matter of irrigation by proposing projects where the required water availability was not there, and supporting diversion of huge volume of water to outside the basin areas by staying silent on the four-fold expansion of Pothireddypadu Head Regulator during the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy rule in combined Andhra Pradesh.
The TRS government had shifted take-off point of the lift irrigation scheme proposed by the then Congress government to Meddigadda based on water availability. He reminded the Congress leaders that Srisailam right power house had submerged in 1998 and 2009, and the Kalwakurthy lift pump house had also submerged twice.
Mr Reddy suggested the BJP to fight for national status for a Telangana project instead of slinging mud at the TRS government. He also faulted the two Opposition parties for criticising lift irrigation adviser K. Penta Reddy.