Nothing for jobless and migrant workers in Centre’s package: Uttam

Hyderabad, May 15 (INN): Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & Nalgonda MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy has described the Rs. 20 lakh crore relief package announced by the Central Government as totally disappointing and direction-less.

Addressing Congress workers and leaders through Facebook Live programme on Friday evening, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the Centre’s package had nothing for migrant workers, who were worst affected due to lockdown, and also for crores of youth who lost their jobs during the last 50 days. He said providing free food to migrant workers could not be counted as ‘relief’. The Centre should have announced a proper relief and rehabilitation package for all the migrant workers. Further, he said that the package might not benefit the MSMEs as it does not provide any support for them to carry on their activities while retaining their employees. He said it was strange that private companies were being directed not to lay off staff and pay full salaries without providing them any immediate financial support.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that several countries like the USA, Britain and Canada have taken exemplary steps to protect their industries and employees. He said that the Centre must have emulated those countries to protect jobs and industries from the impact of unprecedented lockdown in history. He said both Central and State Governments need to take more steps to provide relief to all affected segments.

The TPCC Chief strongly condemned the re-opening of wine shops in Telangana amid lockdown. He said that the Congress party has been objecting to the opening of liquor shops as it would kill the very purpose of lockdown. While it will be difficult to maintain social distance during the sale of liquor, it will be impossible to make people follow the lockdown norms once they consume liquor. He said it was strange that the State Government allowed liquor shops to operate even in Red Zones while all other shops were kept shut.

Briefing the Congress workers about the Pothyreddypadu issue, Uttam Kumar Reddy informed that the Congress party has already lodged a complaint with Krishna River Management Board and also with the Central Government on the proposed illegal withdrawal of additional water from Krishna River by the Andhra Pradesh Government. He said the decision of AP Govt was an open violation of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act. Strongly condemning the silence being maintained by Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao on the issue, he said KCR’s stand suggests that he has a secret understanding with the AP Govt to permit it withdraw additional water.

The TPCC President said that the capacity of Pothyreddypadu Head Regulatory was already enhanced from 11,000 Cusecs to 44,000 Cusecs and AP Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy had already made those announcements in September and December last year. He said Congress leader Nagam Janardhan Reddy had immediate reacted to the development and he also wrote a letter to Telangana CM KCR on January 4 this year highlighting the issue while requesting him to take measures to protect the interest of Telangana. However, he said KCR remained inert and did not raise the issue although he had two meetings with Jagan Mohan Reddy since January this year. He said it was due to KCR’s negligence and silence that AP Government dared to issue GO No. 203 on May 5, 2020, to enhance the capacity of Pothyreddypadu Head Regulatory to 80,000 Cusecs at a cost of Rs. 6,829 crore.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the AP Government was planning to draw additional 4 TMC of water from Srisailam which would create huge problems for farmers in Mahabubnagar and Nalgonda districts while causing shortage of drinking water in Hyderabad.

He said that it was the moral responsibility of Telangana CM KCR to stop the expansion of Pothyreddypadu programme at any cost. He reminded that denying Telangana its due share in Krishna and Godavari River water was the main issue in 2014 elections and TRS won the elections by exploiting people’s sentiments on the issue. He said that the Congress party would not tolerate any injustice to Telangana in water sharing. He said that KCR was spending Rs. 1 lakh crore to draw 2 TMC of water from Kaleshwaram Project while AP CM Jagan was expanding Pothyreddypadu project to take away 4 TMC of Telangana’s water.

The TPCC Chief alleged that Kaleshwaram Project was being constructed not for the people but only to benefit the contractors and take commissions from them. He said that the KCR Government has called for tenders worth Rs. 24,000 crore for Kaleshwaram during the lockdown period. The cost of the project was escalated and they were finalised during the lockdown period itself so that no company from outside the State could participate in the process. He said instead of calling global tenders, the costs were escalated and tenders were finalised to benefit close relatives of CM KCR. He said the tender were finalised during a meeting held at the behest of the Chief Minister. He said that the tender for Dummugudem Barrage were being awarded to L&T although the company has no experience of executing Electronic and Mechanical workers. He said conditions were modified to make the company eligible apply for those tenders. He said tenders for Rs. 24,000 crore works were being finalise for 8% commissions and kickbacks.

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