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Mylavaram: State orders probe

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Two irrigation experts have been appointed by the government on Thursday to inquire into the construction taken up in the middle of Mylavaram reservoir in Kadapa district by Bramhani Industries, which is building a steel plant nearby. Karnataka Minister for Tourism Gali Janardhan Reddy is the promoter of the company.

The experts, T. S. Prakash Rao, Adviser to government ( Irrigation) and B. V. S. Prakasa Rao, Engineer-in-Chief, Telugu Ganga project, will visit the reservoir on Friday and submit their report to the government recommending action against the persons responsible if they detect any irregularity. Mylavaram dam lies across the Pannar, lifeline of the Rayalaseema region, while another project, Gandikota, was built five km upstream. The inquiry was ordered following a front-page report published on Thursday in the Telugu daily Saakshi, owned by Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy, Congress MP and son of Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy.

The report said Bramhani had laid a 0.5 km long, 100-foot wide road inside the reservoir which would affect the flow of water and reduce the reservoir capacity. Sources said the Chief Minister, now holidaying in Goa, took a serious note of the matter.

The management of Bramhani justified its action saying that it laid the road only to facilitate construction of an off-take structure in the middle of the reservoir and pump water through a pipeline to its factory site, four km away.

Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Secretary, Irrigation (Rayalaseema), when contacted, said that Bramhani Steels was originally allocated two tmcft of water from the Gandikota project. On a request by the company for temporary allocation from Mylavaram for construction purposes, the government permitted it to draw 0.059 tmcft.

The Telugu Desam Party has decided to send a three-member committee comprising P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, G. Muddukrishnama Naidu and Dadi Veerabhadra Rao to study the issue of Brahmani Steels laying a road inside the Mylavaram reservoir. The party said that the anger reportedly expressed by the Chief Minister was just a drama as everyone knew the proximity of the Karnataka industrialist to Dr. Reddy.

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