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Saturday, Aug 24, 2019

At KCR’s mega irrigation project event, buzz around his missing nephew

KCR had said he has invited Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to the ceremony as they had extended their cooperation to the Kaleshwaram project.

india Updated: Jun 21, 2019 17:05 IST
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Srinivasa Rao Apparasu
Hindustan Times, Hyderabad
After prayers and chanting of Vedic hymns, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao inaugurated the Rs 1 lakh crore Kaleshwaram multi-purpose lift irrigation project being built on the Godavari river.
After prayers and chanting of Vedic hymns, Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao inaugurated the Rs 1 lakh crore Kaleshwaram multi-purpose lift irrigation project being built on the Godavari river.(ANI File Photo)
         

After prayers and chanting of Vedic hymns, Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao on Friday inaugurated the Rs 1 lakh crore Kaleshwaram multi-purpose lift irrigation project being built on the Godavari river.

Before formally inaugurating the project at Medigadda barrage, the chief minister and his wife Shobha performed the Kaleshwara Jala Sankalpa Mahotsava Yagam as seers of Sringeri Peetham and other priests offered prayers. The Kaleshwaram project is considered to be the largest multi-stage lift scheme in the world.

KCR, as he is popularly known, wore a traditional attire as he took part in the yagam and worshipped the idol of Mother Godavari. Later, KCR, the governor and the chief ministers of two neighbouring states made offerings to the Godavari at the barrage. Jagan unveiled the plaque as part of the inauguration of the barrage.

KCR had said he has invited Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy to the ceremony as they had extended their cooperation to the Kaleshwaram project.

He had also strongly defended his decision of not inviting the Prime Minister for the inauguration of the Kaleshwaram project. “Why should I invite the Prime Minister to every function? Is there any such rule? We invited Modi to the inauguration of Mission Bhagiratha in the past, though there was no financial assistance from the Centre despite a recommendation from NITI Aayog,” he said earlier this week.

KCR took the dignitaries to a photo exhibition where he explained the salient features of Kaleshwaram. The project, whose estimated cost is set to cross Rs one lakh crore, involves the construction of three barrages – Medigadda, Annaram and Sundilla – where water from the Godavari would be reverse-pumped from one barrage to another and diverted it into a complex system of reservoirs, water tunnels, pipelines and canals.

He also explained that the pumps had the capacity to lift two thousand million cubic feet of water every day using six massive pumps of 139MW capacity. The project provides irrigation to 45 lakh acres of land, besides providing 10tmc of water towards drinking water and 16tmc for industrial purposes.

After the inauguration of the Medigadda project, the dignitaries were flown down to Kannepalli village a few kilometres away, where the Governor inaugurated the pump house. They also took part in another yagam performed there and offered prayers to the river.

Several TRS leaders, including ministers A Indra Karan Reddy, V Srinivas Goud, Koppula Eeshwar and S Niranjan Reddy, and local MLAs also took part in the inauguration ceremony.

KCR’s nephew and former irrigation minister T Harish Rao was conspicuous by his absence at the event, sparking a buzz in the party circles about the changing equations within the first family of Telangana’s ruling party. Word is that he is being sidelined by KCR. Harish Rao’s absence was particularly striking because he had played a key role in the execution of the Kaleshwaram project and secured the requisite permissions from the Centre.

Harish Rao issued a statement on Wednesday night saying all the credit for the commissioning of the project would go to the chief minister. “It was the victory of the fight for Statehood which promised Neellu, Nidhulu and Niyamakalu (water, resources and jobs),” he tweeted. But, many faulted the Telangana government and KCR for not inviting Harish Rao to the project inauguration, as he was the real architect of the project. Many of his followers expressed solidarity with him.

First Published: Jun 21, 2019 16:25 IST

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