Medigadda barrage pier sinking: Telangana sacks Irrigation Engineer-in-Chief Muralidhar Rao

Rao also represented Telangana in the KRMB meeting where the state allegedly let the board to control the Krishna river irrigation projects.

ByRaj Rayasam

Published Feb 07, 2024 | 11:13 PMUpdatedFeb 07, 2024 | 11:14 PM

The sunken piers of Kaleshwaram.

The Telangana government has begun “purging” the Irrigation Department. Irrigation Minister N Uttam Kumar Reddy on Wednesday, 7 February, asked Engineer-in-Chief (ENC) C Muralidhar Rao to resign immediately.

The minister also issued orders removing from service the Kaleshwaram and Ramagundam ENC Venkateswara Rao.

The action against Muralidhar Rao and Venkateswara Rao followed the receipt of the report of the Vigilance and Enforcement Department, which probed the sinking of the piers of the Medigadda barrage, which is part of multi-stage and multi-crore Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS).

The action against them has been a long time coming, with the Congress alleging that Muralidhar Rao was the apple of former chief minister and BRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao’s eye.

He played a key role in redesigning the earlier Pranahita-Chevella Project into the KLIS.

Muralidhar Rao also represented Telangana in the recent Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) meeting where the state allegedly allowed the board to take control of the irrigation projects on the Krishna river.

The development turned out to be a major embarrassment for the ruling Congress in Telangana, with the BRS attacking him and the party ever since.

Related: Revanth Reddy dares KCR and Jagan over Krishna waters

Allegations of corruption

The measure came against the backdrop of the Congress government readying its arsenal to attack the BRS in the Assembly for the “mind-boggling” corruption in the execution of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS).

The state government has already written to the chief justice of the Telangana High Court to spare a sitting judge to probe the sinking of the piers. The response is awaited.

After the Congress came to power in the state, Irrigation Minister N Uttam Kumar Reddy organised a presentation on Medigadda where Muralidhar Rao explained to the people what went wrong with the piers of the barrage.