YSR seeks people’s support for Congress
CHEVELLA (RANGA REDDY DT): Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy has exhorted the people to grill leaders of the Telugu Desam, Praja Rajyam and Telangana Rashtra Samiti on whether they had the courage to take up projects of the magnitude launched by the Congress government in the State.
Urging the people to support the Congress in the next elections, he said the Congress alone had the conviction and courage to take up massive projects like construction of irrigation projects.
The Chief Minister said the government was “observing with magnifying glass” the problems faced by all sections.
He virtually kicked off the party’s election campaign by addressing a large gathering at the foundation-laying ceremony of the Pranahita-Chevella Sujala Sravanti, the largest lift irrigation scheme in the country.
He formally launched distribution of Rs. 5,000 credit advisories to farmers not covered under the Central loan waiver scheme, another initiative by the government involving an estimated Rs. 1,600 crore.
Dr. Reddy utilised the platform to assert that the government had demonstrated its commitment to welfare and development despite opposition from the Telugu Desam and Praja Rajyam president Chiranjeevi who claimed there was no need for new irrigation projects.
“The opposition parties’ charge that the government launched the projects for the sake of commissions reflected their ignorance about the needs of the people,” he said.
The Congress was convinced that the long term needs of drought-prone areas like Telangana could be met with irrigation projects and had spent Rs. 36,000 crore for creating new ayacut of 17 lakh acres.
Mines and Geology Minister Sabita Indra Reddy and Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah were also present.
‘Arogyasri can be replicated’
Meet explores potential of healthcare in public private partnership mode
HYDERABAD: Arogyasri, which transformed health care delivery in the State by providing high-end tertiary medicare free of cost to the poor, could be replicated at the national level, speakers at health conference said here on Wednesday.
The conference which was aimed at exploring the potential in healthcare in public private partnership (PPP) mode emphasised that Arogyasri proved how a radical rethink of policies and practices could benefit larger sections of society.
Mr. P. K. Agarwal, Principal Secretary, Health, said despite the global economy slowdown, health sector in A.P. would grow by leaps and bounds. Besides Arogyasri , government mounted even a bigger scheme to improve delivery of primary health care through 104, 108 services in rural areas. The aim was to bring down morbidity rate in State by 50 per cent and institutionalise 100 per cent deliveries and child immunisation in rural areas with the entrepreneurial talent of private sector and technology support.
Dr. Varma Vegesna, convener-CII AP, said the PPP mode also offered great potential to healthcare industry for improving hospital infrastructure and equipment, procurement of drugs and disposables, non-clinical services including diagnostics, IT.
Sangita Reddy, Executive Director, Apollo Hospitals Group, in her key note address, said the success of Arogyasri health insurance scheme would herald a new era of health care in the country.
Yet, she cautioned that healthcare cost would rise at two per cent higher than the GDP growth.
For instance in US, 16 per cent of GDP was spent on health even while considerable sections were outside insurance cover.
Pranahita: State to seek Maharashtra’s nod
Brisk paper work on to get Central Water Commission’s nod
HYDERABAD: Notwithstanding the strained relations between the two States over the Babli project, Andhra Pradesh will soon approach Maharashtra for its consent for executing the Rs. 38,500-crore Pranahita-Chevella irrigation project.
The barrage proposed to be built across the Pranahita, a bountiful tributary of the Godavari with a vast catchment area in the neighbouring State, will occupy a part of Maharashtra’s territory that starts from the middle of the river. The Pranahita serves as a boundary between the two States. The project will use 160 tmcft water from the river.
“We will soon furnish papers to the Maharashtra government for its nod. Brisk paper work is also on to get all the clearances from the Central Water Commission,” a senior Irrigation Department official said. The government has gone ahead with preliminary work on the Pranahita-Chevella project with the assumption that the Maharashtra government’s approval is “ a foregone conclusion,” for two reasons: firstly, the survey and water availability assessment for the project has been made by WAPCOS , a Central government undertaking. Secondly, there is a clear provision for this project not only in the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal Award (GWDTA) of 1978 but also in the inter-State agreement of 1975 duly signed by the two States.
The relevant portion in the GWDTA states: “Both AP and Maharashtra agree to have barrage/barrages across the Pranahita at suitable sites for the benefit of both or one State.”
However, any project will have to be taken up only after reaching a separate agreement. Water utilisation by the two States under such a project is also subject to their respective allocations under GWDTA. Andhra Pradesh has so far utilised 700 tmcft from out of 1,484 tmcft allocated by the Tribunal.
Meanwhile, the batch of engineers who conceived the Pranahita-Chevella project remained an unhappy lot for not being invited for the foundation-stone laying ceremony by Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy at Chevella.
Congress celebrates Indira’s birth anniversary
HYDERABAD: The 92nd birth anniversary of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was celebrated with fanfare by the Congress party on Wednesday.
At a function got up in Gandhi Bhavan, Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy and the AP Congress Committee president D. Srinivas garlanded the portrait of former Prime Minister.