Even as Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and ruling Telangana Rastra Samiti (TRS) working president and state minister KT Rama Rao have been demanding national status to Kaleshwaram, they received a shock from National human Rights Commission (NHRC) today when the state government was asked to submit an enquiry based report on Kaleshwaram.
KTR appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to grant national project status to Kaleshwaram. In a tweet, he said, “Humble appeal to Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Telangana CM KCR had appealed to you several times to grant national project status to either Kaleshwaram project or Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme.”
“While Polavaram in AP and Upper Bhadra in Karnataka are being recognised as national projects, kindly ensure that the world’s largest multi-stage lift irrigation project Kaleshwaram or Palamuru Lift Irrigation Scheme are considered with equal importance. Request you sir to direct the high powered steering committee to take up Telangana projects on 6th Dec,” he tweeted.
Rama Rao also shared a newspaper clipping in which the Jal Shakti Ministry gave the nod for national project status to Upper Bhadra project. He also shared another newspaper clipping quoting the then Union Minister of Water Resources Nitin Gadkari informing the Lok Sabha that the Centre had decided not to give any such concession to irrigation projects after Polavaram.
On issue of back waters and submergence of villages in the reserve area around Kaleshwaram project, a petition was filed on November 30 at NHRC. The petition was taken up for hearing today. NHRC has asked the state government to conduct an enquiry into the measures taken up by the state government to address the issues of back waters, problems faced by the farmers, submergence of villages, oustees, etc.
NHRC has instructed the state government to conduct enquiry at grassroots level into the losses faced by the farmers and at what level and stage were the farmers facing problems. Meanwhile the Union forest an environment ministry and they too have issued notices to KCR government to look at back waters related issues among the farming community.
In his petition to NHRC, Shravan mentioned that a farmer by name Rajesh had committed suicide since he was not even paid by the state government for loss that he endured in his farm land due to back waters. “Over 80,000 acres of agricultural land has turned useless due to back waters from Kaleshwaram project. Without proper planning the upper canal region has left 30,000 farmers and farm labourers jobless. A proper study should be conducted and rehabilitation of the farmers has to be done as well as compensation for the loss till date has to be paid by the state government,” the petitioner mentioned.
Based on this petition, NHRC has now issued notice to KCR government. Now will to wait and watch what would be the reaction of the CM and government on the issue!