|The Telangana Government is planning to pace up implementation of major irrigation projects following the recent amendments made to the The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.|
Sources in the Irrigation Department stated that since both the Houses of Telangana Legislature have cleared the bill making it an Act, the efforts were on to send it to the Centre as it requires assent by the President.
The issue was already taken up with the Centre by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao himself to ensure work on major projects such as Kaleshwaram and Palamuru-Ranga Reddy were not affected.
“Demonetisation already has some impact on payment to contractors and payment of compensation for land acquisition and the delay in acquiring land could further hamper the works”, sources said pointing out that the dues to contractors of irrigation projects had already crossed Rs. 3,000 crore.
Land acquisition is already a major hurdle in the head works pertaining to Kaleshwaram Project at Medigadda, Annaram and Sundilla Barrage sites although the Mallannasagar issues hogged the limelight.
“Out of nearly 2,500 acres required for construction of three barrages and their pump-houses, contractors have been given possession of about 550 acres with actual registrations taking place for 300 acres only”, the official sources, said explaining the status of land acquisition.
Similarly in case of Palamuru-Ranga Reddy project, the Government had acquired only about 14,000 acres land so far against the requirement of nearly 30,000 acres. It also hit the National Green Tribunal hurdle recently following a local Congress leader filing a petition alleging that the project works in the reserved forest area were on without necessary environmental clearances.
The Chief Minister has, in fact, written to the Centre about a month ago seeking speedy environmental clearances for irrigation projects while pointing out to project cost overruns due to delays. He also urged Union Minister for Environment and Forests A.M. Dave to give some relaxations at least in case of pump-houses of lift irrigation projects as is being given to tunnels and canals already, even if the clearances for reservoirs takes time.