KTR takes on Centre again, this time over step-motherly treatment to the Hyderabad Metro

KTR said that the ₹6,250-crore Shamshabad Airport metro-link project was on track, even though there was not much help from the Centre.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Feb 11, 2023 | 11:18 PM Updated Feb 11, 2023 | 11:18 PM

KTR accused the BJP of treating Telangana as an "enemy state" by refusing to make an allocation for Hyderabad city's metro project. (Twitter)

IT and Municipal Administration Minister KT Rama Rao on Saturday, 11 February, unleashed another fusillade at the BJP-ruled Centre, this time accusing it of treating Telangana as an “enemy state” by refusing to make an allocation for Hyderabad city’s metro project.

The minister, responding to queries during question hour in the Assembly, said that the BJP dispensation was allocating funds for metro projects in states where it was in power, while it was ignoring Hyderabad, which has a population of 1.2 crore.

KTR said that the prestigious ₹6,250-crore Shamshabad Airport metro-link project was on track, even though there was not much help from the Centre.

He said that the project, which had already been audited by Delhi Metro officials, would be completed in three years.

The minister also promised extension of the metro rail to Old City, which has the iconic Charminar. The government would not allow an increase in metro fares irrationally, he added. He stated that metro officials have been told that the fares should be on par with those of the TSRTC.

Old City: Soul of Hyderabad

The minister said that the government would not neglect the soul of Hyderabad, which is its architectural heritage.

No matter how many modern buildings come up, the original Hyderabad should remain intact, he said, and pointed out that Gulzar Houz, Mir Alam Mandi, and Ashoor Khana would soon revive their pristine glory.

The government has already taken up the beautification of Old City with night illumination, as well as widening of the road between Charminar and the Darul Uloom school.

Widening of the road between Doodh Bowli and Hussaini Alam was also underway, he said, and asserted that the government would protect the heritage structures in Hyderabad, regardless of how much it cost.

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Focus on irrigation

Finance Minister T Harish Rao, replying to a discussion on irrigation demand, said that Congress leaders were happy when the motors of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme were damaged in the floods. But the government had them repaired on a war footing and ensured irrigation during the rabi season.

He said that Congress leaders were flogging themselves by speaking half-truths and lies which would boomerang on them.

Harish Rao reiterated that the Kaleshwaram motors were damaged because of a natural calamity and invited Congress members to visit the project after the Assembly sessions.

The minister found fault with Congress leaders for being negligent of the welfare of farmers during their reign. As a result, agriculture labourers in Mahabubnagar had to migrate to other states for livelihood, he charged.

He also refuted the claims of the Congress that it was during their tenure that the irrigation projects had been built in the state and termed them as white lies. “If you people had built projects, why should the farm hands migrate to other states?” he questioned the claim made by CLP leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka.

Harish Rao charged that before the formation of Telangana state, irrigation facilities could be created for only 27,000 acres under Nettempadu, Kalwakurthy, and Bheema ports in Mahabubnagar district.

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When the Congress rule came to end in the combined state, the then perennial drought district had no irrigation facility. The pump houses were left incomplete, no canals were constructed and, in some instances, even without grounding the works bills for them were cleared, he added.

But after Telangana became a reality, the BRS government spent ₹3,663 crore for the creation of irrigation facilities to 5.69 lakh acres.

The minister said that as part of Mission Kakatiya, the government had taken up repairs to tanks and constructed check dams, which led to Mahabubnagar district becoming fertile. He said that the migration of labourers had stopped and even reverse migration took place.

Chief whip in Council

The ruling BRS government in the state on Saturday appointed MLC Thaniparthi Bhanuprasad Rao as government chief whip in the Telangana Legislative Council.

Bhanuprasad, a member of the Legislative Council for the fourth time, is a resident of Karimnagar, an official release said.

He was the chairman, House Committee on Rajiv Rahadari APLC and also the member of Committee on Public Accounts and Minorities Welfare.

A graduate of architecture, Bhanuprasad is a senior leader of the BRS, the release said.