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Monday, Sep 26, 2022

Congress demands CBI probe into corruption allegations in Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme

Close on the heels of Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat alleging massive corruption in Kaleshwaram project, former Congress minister Mohammed Ali Shabbir asked the Centre to impose a travel ban on all the contractors, sub-contractors, KCR family and others associated with the project.

NGT red-flags Kaleshwaram project: Green clearance was in violation of law, halt workKaleshwaram Lift Irrigation project. (File)

The Congress party Thursday has demanded a CBI probe into the alleged irregularities in the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS). The Kaleshwaram project on the Godavari river is the flagship project of the Telangana government, which aims to provide drinking and irrigation water all over Telangana. Even as Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR) of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi is personally monitoring its progress and implementation, allegations of corruption have come up.

Former Congress minister and ex-Leader of Opposition Mohammed Ali Shabbir on Thursday demanded the Central Government to order a CBI probe into the alleged corruption in the execution of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS).

Reacting to the allegations of corruption levelled by Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and the counter given by Telangana’s Finance Minister T Harish Rao, Mohammed Ali alleged that both the BJP and TRS leaders were indulging in a blame game to cover up the scam.

Union Minister Shekhawat had alleged that corruption had exceeded all limits in the irrigation scheme. “In this scenario, the Central Government should immediately order a CBI probe. It should also engage the Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax Department to trace the swindled public money. The BJP is running the government at the Centre. Therefore, its leaders should not speak in the tone of just an Opposition party. If the TRS government has done something wrong, then the Centre should take immediate action by ordering a probe,” Shabbir said.

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Harish Rao dismissed all the allegations of corruption in the Kaleswaram Project. “These are all made up. They do not have any proof,” Rao told The Indian Express.

The pump houses in the three barrages of the KLIS were submerged in the recent heavy rains, drawing criticism from the rival parties which alleged technical flaws in the design.

Shabbir ridiculed the counter given by Minister Harish Rao to the Union Minister’s allegations of corruption in the KLIS. “If the TRS Government is honest and did nothing wrong in the execution of KLIS, then why did it prevent the delegation of the Congress Legislature Party from visiting the Kaleshwaram or other irrigation projects? The Congress leaders wanted to see the pump houses, which got submerged in the recent floods. However, the state government stopped the Congress leaders using police force and local administration?” he asked Harish Rao.

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Shabbir said that the Congress party has been projecting the massive corruption involving CM Chandrashekhar Rao and his family members in the guise of irrigation projects, especially the Kaleshwaram project.

“The project was redesigned only to increase its cost by triple to benefit the contractors and get a commission from them. Further, sub-standard materials and machinery were used in the construction of barrages, pump houses, and other motors. Although public money to the tune of more than Rs 1.5 lakh crore was spent on KLIS and other projects, the entire construction activity was kept a secret. For the first time in history, no Opposition leader or media was allowed near the project. The recent floods have exposed the corruption of TRS leaders in the KLIS and the state government is trying hard to cover up the scam.”

The Congress leader demanded that the Centre immediately order a CBI probe into the KLIS and impose a ban on foreign travel of all the contractors, sub-contractors, KCR family and others associated with the KLIS.

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He feared that those involved in the scam might flee the country along with the necessary evidence. “This is the time for the BJP to prove that it is not a secret ally of the TRS. Lack of action despite the Union Minister levelling allegations of huge corruption would prove that both the BJP and TRS are one and they are trying to shield each other’s corrupt practices, ” he said.

First published on: 18-08-2022 at 10:17:53 pm
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