Hyderabad: Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) president N. Uttam Kumar Reddy on Friday wrote a letter to Chief Secretary Dr. Rajeev Sharma seeking Detailed Project Reports of all major irrigations projects along with means of their finance.
Uttam Kumar Reddy, in his letter, expressed deep concern over the completely adhoc. arbitrary, unscientific and irrational manner in which the irrigation projects, with a total cost outlay of over Rs. 1.5 lakhs Crores, are being taken up.
“We are surprised that major irrigation projects are being taken up without a final detailed project report. If the final DPRs are ready, why are project designs and cost of projects getting continuously changed each week?” he asked.
Citing examples, the TPCC chief said that the cost of Polavaram-Rangareddy LI scheme has been increasing by thousands of cores each week.
“If the final detailed project reports are available, we request that the DPRs of Patamur-Rangareddy LI Scheme, Pranahitha-Adilabad, Kateshwaram. Seetharama and Dindi projects be sent to us,” he demanded while asking the State Governnment to put DPRs of all irrigation projects to be put in the public domain.
Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that the irrigation department was re-engineering many of the technical aspects of Pranahita, Kaleshwaram, Kanthanapalli Flood flow canal and Devadula projects.
“In many of the above projects, despite huge cost escalation, you appear to be awarding the works to the earlier contractors itself,” he said adding that fresh tenders be called wherever the specifications sources and capacities of the irrigation projects have been hiked.
The TPCC Chief also alleged that the process of tendering being followed by the State Government indicates that some contractors were being favoured at the cost of the public exchequer.
“While the government is selling government lands and mortgaging the future of the Telangana public by taking high cost debt to raise funds for the irrigation projects, all known established norms in awarding government contract works have been Ignored,” he said.
Further, he also objected to the proposed method of adopting Swiss challenge procedure of awarding contracts in some of the projects. “We suggest that Swiss challenge method of awarding contracts should not be followed.
We are surprised that you have escalated Palamuru-Rangareddy LI Scheme in an adhoc and arbitrary manner from Rs.35,200 crores to Rs.47,500 crores. You have escalated Rs. 12,000 crores in a single project even before work has began on the ground?” he pointed out.
“While you are awarding irrigation projects to Andhra contractors at hugely overpriced costs, it is surprising that you are trying to forcibly take over the land of poor Telangana farmers and farm labour without giving them adequate compensation, assessing social / environment impact assessment and taking up R&R works in submergence areas,” he said.
Uttam Kumar Reddy also requested the Chief Secretary to avoid huge balancing reservoirs at huge cost and large submergence areas. “All over the country and across the globe, wherever huge lift schemes are built, sumps are provided and not huge balancing reservoirs.
We demand that all procedures and R&R benefits should be followed as per Land Acquisition Act 2013 wherever land is being acquired,” he said.
“We wish to convey our huge concern that it is widely believed by technical experts that the biggest scam in independent India is happening in the present irrigation projects in the newly formed stale of Telangana,” he said.
Meanwhile, several delegations of affected farmers of Mallanna Sagar, Marcharla Pharma City and projects called on the TPCC chief at the residence of former Deputy CM Damodar Rajanarsimha on Friday night. (INN)