Hyderabad, July 23 (INN): Congress senior leader Marri Sashidhar Reddy on Saturday demanded that the State Government suspend all steps for land acquisition in the Mallana Sagar villages.
Addressing a press conference at Gandhi Bhavan here, Sashidhar Reddy said that the ongoing controversy over Mallanna Sagar reservoir has taken a sad and unfortunate turn with the suicide by a farmer from Pallepahad village on Thursday, fearing that he would lose his land. “The TRS Government, Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao and Irrigation Minister T. Harish Rao are squarely responsible for this death,” he alleged. he said that the State Government should have suspended the land acquisition process in the light of the expert opinion given by retired engineer-in-chief and UN consultant T. Hanumanth Rao clearly stating that reservoirs are not required on Kaleshwaram LI Project.
Sashidhar Reddy, who also heads Forum for Utilisation of Godavari Waters, said that he, along with Prof. Purushotham Reddy, Dr. T Indrasena Reddy and others, had visited the family of farmer who committed suicide.
The Congress leader reminded that a delegation had visited the JLN Project in Haryana on 13th July where lift irrigation is being successfully carried out from 1979 onwards without any reservoirs. Similarly, he said that the Mahatma Gandhi Lift Irrigation project on the Nagarjuna Sagar Left Canal in Garedipalli mandal of Nalgonda district was a good example of technical competence. The scheme is designed to irrigate 6600 acres in 6 villages, in 2 stages, pumping water to a height of 50 feet and 90 feet respectively.
The Congress leader said that this cardinal principle has not been followed while redesigning the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project. “KCR had gone on record on the floor of the Assembly that water from Mallanna Sagar, with FRL 556 M, could be taken either to Alair or Bhongir or Nizam Sagar through Haldi Vagu or even to SRSP, which are all at significantly lower contours. Such a proposal is technically flawed and totally uneconomical, resulting in a higher capital as well as operational costs, causing huge loss to public exchequer. Therefore, the whole energy-intensive, capital-intensive, environment and people unfriendly LI Scheme needs to be redesigned, without reservoirs to make it cost effective and sustainable,” he demanded.
He also questioned the silence of Governor E.S.L. Narasimahan on the issue. He offered to give a presentation to the Governor in presence of irrigation experts. (INN)