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    BRS white paper showcases troubling policies

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    The previous government’s irrigation policies have put the state at risk, according to a white paper presented in the Assembly. These policies have led to increased debt and a burden of Rs 77,369 crore in loan repayments over the next five years. The total funds needed to complete remaining projects is Rs 1,75,143 crore, with an average of Rs 3.4 lakh per acre required for irrigation.

    The report criticized the previous government for focusing on major projects and neglecting small and medium projects. Budgetary allocations for the irrigation sector were also reduced by 47 percent during the previous regime. The debt to fund ratio has increased from zero percent in 2014 to 39 percent in 2023.

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    Currently, there are 28,412 pending bills totaling more than Rs 10,000 crore waiting for clearance from the government. Since the formation of Telangana in 2014, 15.81 lakh acres of ayacut have been created at a cost of Rs 1,81,067 crore. The government spent Rs 11.45 lakh per acre on these projects.

    The previous government spent Rs 1.29 lakh crore on Kaleshwaram, Palamuru Rangareddy, and Sitarama lift irrigation schemes before the formation of Telangana. Once ongoing projects are completed, a total irrigation facility of 127.58 lakh acres is estimated to be created.

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    To complete remaining projects and create 53.98 lakh acres of additional ayacut, Rs 97,774 crore is required. The report highlighted the previous government’s focus on constructing barrages for the Kaleshwaram project rather than providing irrigation facilities to farmers.

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    Additionally, the report criticized the previous government for failing to secure Telangana’s share of water from River Krishna and allowing Andhra Pradesh to enhance the Pothireddypadu head regulator capacity. The report also mentioned breaches in old projects due to poor management, such as gates of the Musi project being washed away and breaches in the Sarala Sagar project in Wanaparthy.

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    Moving forward, the current government aims to prioritize medium and minor projects that provide greater irrigation facilities with less expenditure.

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    Rajesh M
    Rajesh M
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