Pranahita-Chevella works soon

Special Correspondent

Project will benefit seven out of nine Telangana districts

Designs for the structures to be ready shortly

The project will be completed in four years: Minister

HYDERABAD: Major Irrigation Minister P. Lakshmaiah has announced that the government will launch works on Pranahita-Chevella project “soon”, using Rs. 250 crore allocated for it in the 2008-09 budget.

At a press conference here on Thursday, the Minister said designs for various structures of the project, which were under preparation, would be ready within a short time.

He said a festival atmosphere was prevailing in Telangana over the project, as it would benefit seven out of the region’s nine districts. The project would be completed in four years, though the biggest of its kind in the world.

Justifies stone-laying

Asked how far Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was justified in laying the foundation-stone for a massive project just before elections, he said the Congress government had contemplated it ever since it came to power and referred to the “umpteen” such foundation-stones laid by former Chief Minister and Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu before the 2004 elections. He objected to Mr. Naidu describing the foundation-stone of Pranahita-Chevella as tomb-stone.

Mr. Lakshmaiah said opposition parties were criticising Pranahita-Chevella without coherence and consistency.

Mr. Naidu spoke of the government enhancing the project cost by Rs. 20,000 only to get “kickbacks” while K. Chandrasekhar Rao of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi expressed the experts’ view that its cost would go up to Rs. 50,000 crore.

Praja Rajyam chief Chiranjeevi, on the other hand, did not want any more irrigation projects.

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