The Union government has categorically said that the Central Water Commission has not received any proposal seeking Central assistance to the Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project.
Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Arjun Ram Meghwal said in the Rajya Sabha that the KLIS was recommended by the advisory committee of the Ministry at its 136th meeting held on June 6 at an estimated cost of Rs. 80,190.46 crore.
The Minister was replying to a question by Congress member T. Subbarami Reddy on the details of the project. To a question whether the State government sought any Central assistance to the project, the Minister said: “So far, no proposal for Central assistance for Kaleshwaram project in Telangana is received in the Central Water Commission.”
The Minister’s reply comes at a time when the State government stated it had made repeated requests to the Centre seeking assistance in completing the project that was the lifeline of Telangana. Chief Minister K. Chandrassekhar Rao himself represented the matter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi when he met the latter on June 15.
The State government had made a budgetary provision of Rs. 25,000 crore (for all irrigation projects) besides procuring loan from financial institutions to the tune of Rs. 22,000 crore. “We still need funds and we request the Centre to release Rs. 20,000 crore to complete the (Kaleshwaram) project,” the Chief Minister said in the representation submitted to the Prime Minister.
Irrigation Minister T. Harish Rao too made a fervent appeal to the Centre to provide financial assistance for the project. During his recent meeting with Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, Mr. Rao wanted the former to take up the issue at the Central level. The Minister in turn assured that he would examine the issue and ensure provision of any possible assistance from the Centre.
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