OTHERS

Cong. MLAs stall Pulichintala project work

KHAMMAM, MAY 20. The Congress workers led by four MLAs of the party from Nalgonda district stalled preliminary works in progress for laying the foundation of the Pulichintala project on the Krishna river and staged a dharna at the project site on Sunday.

They snatched away project documents and maps from engineering officials and tore them away lodging their protest against what they called `gross injustice' being meted out to the Telangana for the benefit of the coastal districts.

They alleged that the Government had started work despite stiff opposition from the people of Nalgonda district where over 35,000 acres of land purely under commercial crops would be submerged along with the 1,000-year-old Mittapalli temple. The submergence would affect limestone deposits and thereby the cement industry. They sounded a warning to the contractor against continuing drilling and dewatering operations which were started on May 11.

Mr. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, Kodad MLA, Mr. Komatreddy Venkat Reddy, Nalgonda MLA, Mr. Dosapati Gopal, Suryapet MLA and Mr. Repala Srinivas, Miryalaguda MLA, said that the Chief Minister, Mr. N. Chandrababu Naidu, had already been apprised of the submergence problem. He was urged to take up construction of the project further downstream so as to minimise the displacement problem. But the Government began preliminary works ``rather silently'' to avoid opposition from the affected people.

They said that 18 villages in Miryalaguda division including Mellacheruvu, Huzurnagar, Mattampalli would bear the brunt of submergence. Construction of the Pulichintala project at the proposed place would be opposed by all means. While planning to give water for the second crop in Guntur and Krishna districts by constructing the project, the Government should have given due importance to the water problem in the fluoride-affected parts in Nalgonda district. The Government must complete SLBC works before going ahead with the project, they said.