Vastavam web: The Telangana government has sought national status and full funding from the Centre to its Rs 80,000 crore Kaleswaram Lift Irrigation Project.
The demand was raised by the state government at the pre-budget meeting held by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in Delhi Friday, official sources said.
State Principal Finance Secretary K Ramakrishna Rao, who represented the state at the meeting, read out the speech of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, who could not participate due to the inauguration of the mega project Friday. “The cost of the project has been mostly met from borrowings by the Kaleswaram Corporation. As the debt servicing burden is huge, we have requested the Government of India to declare it as a national project and fund the entire cost of the project,” the state government said.
The state said the project, which seeks to provide irrigation facility for two crops in a year to 45 lakh acres, was taken up at a cost of Rs 80,000 crore as Telangana suffered from lack of irrigation facilities because of “total neglect” in the combined state. The project was described as a boon to the state as it will also supply 40 TMC of water to the ambitious Mission Bhagiratha drinking water supply project.
The state government also requested at the meeting that a special assistance be given in 2019-20 for it’s Mission Bhagiratha and Mission Kakatiya (for restoration of over 45,000 hitherto neglected tanks) schemes. The NITI Aayog had recommended release of special assistance of Rs 19,205 crore for Mission Bhagiratha and Rs 5,000 crore for Mission Kakatiya, it said.