Wednesday, Sep 25, 2002
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By Our Special Correspondent
Addressing a press conference on Tuesday, the APCC official spokesman, K. Rosaiah, said the Government had betrayed the farmers of Nagarjunasagar ayacut by promising water from canals initially but pleading helplessness now.
In the case of farmers dependant on pumpsets also, the Government promised nine hour supply but let then down badly. A fraud was played on villagers by launching the 24-hour domestic supply on August 15, a grandiose scheme which could not be implemented even for a month, the Congress leader said.
Rejecting Telugu Desam leaders' argument that the Government could not be blamed for the crisis wrought by nature, Mr. Rosaiah contended that the drought had not come about overnight. The Government had ignored the warnings issued as early as in May about the worst-ever dry spell in store.
The Chief Minister, who boasted of the Vision-2020 document, lacked the vision. The mismanagement and miscalculation of inflows and reservoir levels by the Government landed the farmers in deep trouble, he alleged.
He admitted that the Alamatti dam deprived the State of its due share of Krishna water but blamed it on the Chief Minister. Reacting to Mr. Chandrababu Naidu's suggestion that Congress leaders from the State should prevail upon the Karnataka Chief Minister, S.M. Krishna, to release waters to the State, he said Alamatti dam height was raised when H.D. Deve Gowda was the Prime Minister. The Chandrababu Naidu Government was in deep slumber till the then CLP leader, P. Janardhan Reddy, led a team of partymen and journalists to the Almatti damsite and cautioned about its danger to the State.
The PCC spokesman said another "act of deceit'' of the Government was to launch the 24-hour supply to the villages for domestic consumption only a month ago, knowing well the precarious power availability and demand position and the requirements of uninterrupted supply to the agricultural sector. The scheme was launched with fanfare on August 15 only to be wound up in a few days. The Government also boasted of exporting surplus power to neighbouring States but it was not unable to supply enough power to agriculture and domestic consumption, he pointed out.
Mr. Rosaiah demanded adequate compensation for ayacutdars of the Nagarjunasagar project for the crop losses on account of failure of the Government to release water to them.
The PCC general secretaries -- P. Sudhakar Reddy, K. Amos -- and another spokesman M. Sridhar Reddy -- said a dharna would be staged in front of the Collectorate at Khammam on September 27 to highlight the problems of farmers.
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