BRS left Telangana Civil Supplies Department in tatters, says Deputy Chief Minister Vikramarka

The previous BRS government left the Civil Supplies Department with a crushing debt of ₹58,860 crore while demitting office, he rued.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Jan 20, 2024 | 10:00 PMUpdatedJan 20, 2024 | 10:00 PM

Deputy CM and Finance Minister Bhatti Vikramarka. (X)

Telangana’s Deputy Chief Minister Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka and Civil Supplies Minister N Uttam Kumar Reddy, on Saturday, 20 January, said that the previous BRS government had left the Civil Supplies Department with a crushing debt of ₹58,860 crore while demitting office.

Speaking to reporters at the state Secretariat after a review of the department’s functioning ahead of the Budget Session, the ministers said that the department was in a financial mess. This happened since the erstwhile government had starved the department of funds. It had, on the other hand, forced it to borrow, they claimed.

Civil Supplies Department

The Civil Supplies Department, which played an important role by providing subsidised rice to the poor and procuring paddy from farmers, is now neck-deep in debt.

The arrears due to the department, which were about ₹380 crore in 2014, has increased to ₹14,360 crore. “I was shocked when the officials explained the burden that the department was shouldering,” Vikramarka said.

The ministers said that the state, which was financially surplus at the time of its creation, has been reduced to a heap of debt under the BRS government. The Civil Supplies Department had faced no problem before 2014 when it had to supply subsidy rice to 2.82 crore people in the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh.

Also Read: BRS’ failure pushed Discoms into debt trap, says DyCM Bhatti Vikramarka

Govt committed to providing rice

They said that regardless of the problems that the Civil Supplies Department is facing, the Congress government would ensure the distribution of rice to the beneficiaries and fine rice to the school students. The department will also procure paddy from farmers in time and make prompt payment to them, the ministers said.

Referring to the Medigadda Barrage fiasco, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the government had concluded that the design itself was faulty.

Though the previous government had spent ₹94,000 crore on the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLLIS), it could irrigate only 40,000 acres. “The damage to Medigadda was very severe. Negligence was also on the same scale,” he said.

Uttam Kumar Reddy refuted the allegation that the government has let the irrigation projects on the Krishna river go to the Krishna River Management Board.

“We did not do it. We want to discuss the issue in the Assembly,” he said, adding that Telangana lost the Sileru project and seven mandals in Bhadradri Kothagudem district after K Chandrashekar Rao became the chief minister.