One of the most esteemed projects of Telangana state (or at least that’s what it was called)- the Kaleshwaram Project has been the bed of controversies from the very beginning. On one hand, the center is questioning the usage of funds allocated for the project, on the other hand, the expenditure bills of the project aren’t looking transparent. But the opposition parties in Telangana believe that there is extortion in the name of the project, the corruption of thousands of crores, and using the project funds as an ATM.
There is often a dialogue war between the ruling TRS and the opposition over this. The BJP, however, went a step further and announced that it would send KCR to jail. TRS leaders say that the Center themselves confirmed that there was no corruption in the construction of Kaleswaram. But BJP and Congress leaders continue to accuse it of being a huge scam. As there is no smoke without fire, there are many doubts about this controversy. In this context, the visit of the CAG officials to Kaleswaram became a topic of discussion.
What was the construction cost of the Kaleswaram project so far? How much work is done until now? the cost incurred and the cost permitted for the construction in terms of packages? What are the reasons behind increasing it later? The Delhi-based Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) Deputy Accountant General Rajveer Singh and Hyderabad Deputy Accountant General Rohit Gatte focused on these various aspects. On Thursday they inspected the Medigadda Barrage and Kannepalli pump house to check how much was spent on motors? How much for other devices? Collected details of such things. Later, they visited Medigadda Barrage to verify the estimated cost of construction and revised estimates, also, learned details like barrage depth.
The CAG’s audit process on the construction cost of the Kaleswaram project has now become a topic of discussion. Political scholars have expressed many doubts in this regard. Opposition parties have alleged that the Kaleswaram structure was tampered with. There have always been demands that the facts be revealed on this. Now analysts expect everything to come out with the CAG report. In fact, the audit process began in July last year. It is said that after the Huzurabad by-election, the TRS lost and the KCR is being targeted by the Center. And it seems like Kaleswaram is one subject through which the center wants to attack KCR and his regime. In this context, the BJP is strengthening in the state. Analysts say that KCR realized that the situation could get out of hand, and has stepped up his speed in the case of war on the center.
When the regional party leader is acting so arrogant, being the members of the party that is in power on a national level, how much pride should we have?- this sounds like the pattern of thinking of many BJP leaders. With each passing year, BJP is gaining its foot in various new states in the country. Going at such a pace, we cannot deny that they can let go of Telangana state such easily. Analysts believe that this might be the reason behind the center trying to take steps against KCR by financial blows. The recent IT raids in the state are also said to be part of this. IT searches were conducted on companies related to the Kaleswaram project. However, the real story can be revealed if the Enforcement Directorate (ED) enters the scene. With IT raids, the tax-related issues can be exposed. But if ED enters, the whole scene will burst out and we can witness some shocking revelations. Anyway, it seems like the Center currently wants to settle all the facts with the CAG alone.
In fact, these days, the CAG report has become a routine. Once upon a time CAG reporting on any matter would have been big damage to the concerned government that is controlling the project. But now there are criticisms that it does not matter much. However, the Kaleswaram project issue is different considering the scale on which it is done. Construction was quite expensive- worth thousands of crores, so the report on it must be accurate. That’s why CAG landed for direct observation, analysts say. Big Machines were purchased from China, Is the reverse pumping profitable or not? It is said that CAG will be looking into other costs as well such as the construction of pump houses.
However, serious differences between Modi and KCR had happened in recent days. IT raids, BJP’s repeated announcements that KCR would be sent to jail, the widening distance between Raj Bhavan and Pragati Bhavan, the Governor complaining to the Delhi cabinet that she was not being respected, and the CAG visit at this time is considered the hot topic in the state. Now the interesting subject will be the outcome of the CAG report on the assumed Kaleswaram corruption. On one hand, the government keeps flaunting that the Kaleshwaram project is one of the greatest initiations it took for the welfare of the state. But, on the other hand, the opposition keeps accusing the government of massive corruption. Under these circumstances, the CAG visit and the forthcoming report are being discussed across the state.