Greetings to People of Telangana on the occasion of State Formation Day.
The state of Telangana, which is the result of a relentless Great movement first of its kind in the history of our country and having completed five years of its successful existence, is entering into the sixth year. Telangana is marching ahead and progressing as a most fruitful state. With incredible resolve, the state is moving forward in its journey towards growth. If we can recap and reminiscence the past five years as a state, it will come to our mind that we could overcome several hurdles and obstacles. There are innumerable extraordinary success stories in the process. Five years is a small period in a state’s history. However, considering the results we achieved these five years period was an invaluable one.
The state that was formed amidst many a doubts and misconceptions, in a very short time, proved all of them as baseless. Tremendous maturity and expertise were exhibited in governance and administration without giving any scope for discordant and flurry. Without any undesirable consequences and maintaining perfect law and order the state is marching ahead on progressive path.
The erstwhile united AP rulers predicted and cracked jokes that Telangana if it is formed, will be plunged into darkness and the Telangana people will not be capable of governance and administration. Contrary to their expectations, when Telangana started advancing on progressive path in all fronts, the same people who derided and ridiculed have become dumbfound.
This is the collective victory of people of Telangana who stood united and achieved with determination. The confidence of people of Telangana on us that those of us who spearheaded a relentless and non-compromising struggle to achieve the state would also take the new state forward in the path of progress, has been kept up cent percent. By giving equal importance to both development and welfare we initiated the process of reconstruction of the state.
The results of the elections that were held in the recent past to the state legislative assembly reflect the government’s performance and to what extent people were impressed by it in their heart and heart. In every election from Panchayat to Parliament, every time, the victory was on our side and people gave us an unprecedented mandate. Treating the benedictions and blessings of people as a great asset and strength we are rededicating ourselves for the all-round development of the state.
As a result of forward looking and efficient fiscal policy of the Telangana Government, giving no scope whatsoever it may be for political corruption and adopting strict financial discipline, today, Telangana has emerged as a powerful force stabilising itself as a state of progression. Our state registered on an average 16.5% revenue growth rate during the past five years. If the same trend continues, in future, the indications clearly show that the state’s revenue will witness a multiple growth rate. To further expand the development of the state this is a positive evolution.
We were able to demonstrate during these five years some permanent solutions to several critical problems that the state has been facing during the past half a century. If we recollect these one after another, the first and foremost problem the state soon after its formation, encountered was, that of power crisis. We sincerely believe that there is nothing that we cannot achieve if we have perseverance. We achieved separate state which was thought to be an impossibility. With integrity and determination, we moved towards overcoming the power crisis. Within a very short period we were able to find a complete solution to the power crisis. From a stage of worst position, we pulled the power sector to that of excellence. Once to have power was news, but now, to have a cut is news. This one example is sufficient to comprehend as to how Telangana voyaged from where to where. I am happy to announce that in the entire country, Telangana is the one and only state, that provides round the clock 24-hour power supply to all sectors including agriculture. The qualitative change in the power supply rejuvenated both agriculture and industrial sectors.
Yet another permanent solution that we could workout was that of drinking water. The success of Mission Bhagiratha Scheme, aimed at comprehensive and permanent solution to drinking water, is literally visualized by people. Despite scorching terrible summer people are not at all worried for drinking water thanks to Mission Bhagiratha. There is no need to travel miles together to fetch drinking water. Demonstrations with empty water pots which was the order of the day once, is seen no more. Mission Bhagiratha liberated people from those troubles. The works of Mission Bhagiratha are almost completed. As the Telugu proverbial saying reads that, the “Elephant passed through but its tail only left!”, it is only a small bit of work is left out. In the rural areas 97% of the works are completed and by July end cent percent works will be over. Even in urban areas the works are being completed on war footing.
Our top priority has been to extend a real helping hand to the needy, helpless and poorest of the poor strata who lead their lives at an extreme corner of the society. Accordingly, a number of welfare programs were conceived and implemented. The Aasara Pensions aimed at providing security to life, are being given to every poverty-stricken individual identifying them either as old or widow or single women or beedi worker or handloom worker or old aged artist or filarial affected or aids patient or to that matter every one below the poverty line. This particular scheme, the benefits of which reach the poorest of the poor directly, without any interference of middlemen, is the one that gives me immense happiness and satisfaction. The pension amount that was enhanced from Rs 200 to Rs 1000 immediately after the formation of Telangana is now enhanced to Rs 2016. The pension amount of differently abled persons is enhanced from Rs 1500 to Rs 3016. The upper age limit for old-age pension is reduced from 65 years to 57 and thereby, another 6-7 lakhs persons would be additionally covered under the scheme. I am happy to announce that the enhanced pensions will be paid from July 1, 2019. The assurance of security of life to the poor gives immense satisfaction to the Government.
Kalyana Lakshmi and Shaadi Mubarak schemes, the brainchildren of mine are dearer to me. Blessings of those families who performed marriages of their girl child with the Rs 1, 00, 116 financial help provided by the Government, are like the strong bastions to our Government.
In order to provide a residence, a dwelling of self-respect to the weaker sections of the society, the two-bedroom house construction is in progress. The fine rice food being provided to students of schools and hostels denotes the human angle of our governance. Arogya Lakshmi Scheme aimed at providing nutritious food to pregnant women and KCR Kits Scheme to encourage institutional deliveries are like fresh definitions of women welfare.
In anticipation of radical and improved changes in the rural life, towards strengthening of rural economy we laid solid steps. Mission Kakatiya aimed at rejuvenation of damaged and debris chain of tanks, not only yielded exceptional results but also received international acclamations as a role model of development. We have been implementing schemes which encourage agricultural related and allied professions on a large scale that never-ever happened in the history.
The largescale distribution of sheep substantially enhanced the livestock wealth of Golla and Kuruma communities. On the other side, in all the tanks and ponds as well as in different water sources, for pisciculture, the required fish seed is supplied free of cost by the government. There is heavy demand in the market of the massive production of freshwater fish. With this the Besta, Boya, Mudiraj and other fish growing communities got largescale employment resulting in an increase of their incomes.
Government of Telangana to a great extent is successful in preventing suicides of handloom and power loom workers. Batukamma Sarees weaving has been entrusted to handloom workers and thus they are enabled to get continuous employment opportunity. Relief to a great extent has been provided to handloom and power loom workers by way of a welfare measure wherein, 50% subsidy on colours and chemicals was given by the government. However, much more is required to be done in this direction.
Telangana Society is a society that respects plurality and multiplicity. Different religious and different community people while safeguarding their existence have been living with coexistence and symbiosis in a give and take manner. The tradition of harmonious culture that is in existence in Telangana was described by Mahatma Gandhi as Ganga Jamuna Tehjeeb. Government of Telangana while safeguarding the value of inheritance is adopting universal communal harmony. Festivals like Batukamma, Bonalu, Ramzan and Christmas were identified as state festivals and are performed officially. On the occasion of these festivals, free clothes are being distributed to poor families. Reform has been brought in wherein Archakas of temples are paid their salaries on first of every month on par with government employees. The amount for Doopa-Deepa Naivedyam to be performed in temples was enhanced. For Imams and Mauzams in the Masjids, remuneration of Rs 5000 is given per month.
In the present context every social community expresses its existential aspirations. Symbolizing the outstanding cultural background of different castes and communities and also as platforms of social development, the government is constructing self-esteem buildings in Hyderabad. For these, required sites have been identified and allotted. Shortly the construction would commence.
Government of Telangana is highly successful in stepping-up and in furtherance of standards in education and health sectors. With an objective of providing education with international standards to oppressed and vulnerable classes 608 new residential schools were established in the state. The students coming out of these residential institutions have been bringing name and fame to our state at international levels.
The performance of government hospitals is improved resulting in infusing confidence in the public health system. The bed strength in the hospitals from the district level to constituency level was increased. Required facilities and equipment for diagnostic tests and emergency treatment were provided. Dialysis centres were established across the state after the formation of the state.
The Kantivelugu program aimed at prevention and control of blindness taken up by the government of Telangana was a boon to poor people. Nowhere in the country on such a large scale like the Kantivelugu was taken up as was done in Telangana for prevention of eye sights and for conducting eye screening besides provision of free Medicare and medicines as well as the distribution of spectacles. Shortly the government will organize special programs for the prevention of dental, ear, nose and throat problems. Government is making efforts to conduct comprehensive diagnostic tests and also to develop Telangana Health Profile.
While every other problem that the Telangana experienced earlier was of one aspect, the problem on the front of irrigated water was another aspect. Despite River Godavari flowing on one side and River Krishna the other side, there was a scarcity of water even to irrigate a small piece of land. The tanks developed by one-time kings were filled with a slit. Wells that were dug by farmers dried up. Projects promised to construct confined to papers only. To fetch groundwater far from deep in the underground bore wells were only the alternative. If they too got dried up, then suicides were the order of the day. People at large realised that unless Telangana state was formed there was no possibility of getting water and as result got harshly agitated. Finally, they achieved Telangana. The responsibility of diverting water to their barren lands was entrusted on our shoulders.
Towards fulfilling the dreams of farmers, we have taken up the challenge and commenced construction of major irrigation projects simultaneously on River Godavari and River Krishna to provide water for irrigation to over a crore of acres. In the first phase, the pending projects were completed on a fast track and on a war footing. We were able to provide water for ten lakhs of acres in the drought-prone Mahbubnagar district alone. Half of Palamoor could be converted as green fields blossoming with bountiful crops. Even in mid-summer, the scenario unveiled was that of totally filled-up tanks brimming with overflowing with water. For making optimum utilization of River Krishna water, the construction of Palamoor-Rangareddy lift irrigation scheme project has been in progress, with which, Mahbubnagar, Wanaparti, Gadwal, Nagarkurnool, Narayan pet, Rangareddy, Vikarabad districts as well as Munugod and Devarakonda areas of Nalgonda district will become fertile.
Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project which is under construction on River Godavari will change the face of Telangana. Kaleshwaram is going to create history in the world, as the largest lift irrigation project built in the fastest mode. Constructing such a large project in such a short period of two and half years is proof of our government’s efficiency and technological excellence. Very recently the wet run conducted with heavy motors near a pumphouse forming part of Kaleshwaram project was a grand success. From next month end, the government is making preparations to lift two TMCs of Godavari Water per day from Medigadda barrage. Preparations are also afoot to lift three TMCs of water from there for which the construction activity is in progress. The Kaleshwaram Project which would be able to supply sufficient irrigated water to grow two crops a year in 45 lakhs of acres in Jayashankar Bhupalpally, Peddapally, Karimnagar, Nirmal, Nizamabad, Kamareddy, Jangaon, Mahaboobabad, Siricilla, Siddipet, Medak, Sangareddy, Jagityal, Medchal, Yadadri Bhongir and Suryapet districts, will be a God-given reward for Telangana. To demonstrate the engineering excellence of lifting water from 90 meters above sea level to 618 meters, the irrigation department is well prepared. I am happy to announce that, the day is not far off for the well living of Telangana farmer when the River Godavari water flowing through tunnels reaches the fields.
The Sitarama Lift Irrigation project works aimed at providing water in abundance to the entire Khammam and Bhadradri Kothagudem districts and part of the Mahaboobabad district, are in progress on a war footing. The capacity od Devadula project is further increased and the construction is in progress. This would fulfill the irrigation needs in toto of Jayashankar Bhupalpally, Mulugu, Warangal Urban, Warangal Rural, Jangaon, Mahaboobabad and Suryapet districts.
When once the irrigation projects are completed, all around Telangana one can see only green fields. No one can either hear the word drought or can see it. All through 365 days in a year, the tanks, the reservoirs, and the barrages resemble a pot full of water. With two crops a year the state of Telangana will emerge as a rice bowl. The increased agricultural production in the state will rejuvenate the Telangana economy. Water all along the river, the reservoirs with full water and the increased underground water levels will not only better the Telangana economy but also that of ecology.
The government in addition to solving the problem of irrigated water has also been implementing the number of schemes towards solving other problems that the farmer has been facing. Within a short time after the formation of state and after coming to power, we waived the farmers’ loans to an extent of one lakh rupees. Now again we are going to waive another one lakh rupees loan. Unlike in the past when the farmer faced problems for fertilizers and seed, we have taken enough care and are able to supply now in time. With 24-hour free power supply, the farmer experienced great relief and give them new hope.
The investment support scheme for agriculture, the Rythu Bandhu, meant for providing financial assistance to farmer towards crop investment enthused the hearts of the farmer. We were able to prevent the farmer from suffering from debts for agriculture investment by giving Rs 4000 per acre per crop totaling Rs 8000. This scheme attracted the attention of the whole world. In addition to several state governments even to the union government, the scheme became a role model. For the Kisan Samman Yojana Scheme introduced by the union government, the inspiration came from our Rythu Bandhu. The United Nations praised Rythu Bandhu Scheme as one of the great schemes in the world. I am announcing the happy news to the farming community that the amount given under Rythu Bandhu will be enhanced from Rs 8000 per acre to Rs 10000 per acre from this year.
Having realized and thought that, if a farmer dies for whatever might be the reason, his family shall not become destitute, the government introduced and implementing the Rythu Bhima Scheme. The entire insured premium amount is borne by the government and on the event of the death of a farmer, his family will get Rs 5 lakhs insured amount at once. By removing the hopelessness feeling in the farmer and by creating fresh enthusiasm in them, the government is able to achieve good results. The government schemes prevented suicides and raised fresh hopes in the lives of the farmer as well as confidence in their future.
The agriculture cantered schemes that I detailed until now will result in high yields besides alleviating the problem of investment for agriculture. However, due to all these, in future, there would be bountiful of crops increasing the production. The government initiated drafting a comprehensive policy formulation to ensure support price to the crop. Crop colonies will be created to avoid the danger of not getting support price due to raising similar crop by all the farmer resulting in lesser demand. Reforms will be taken up to see that different crops are grown in different lands depending upon the soil strength and conditions as well as the climatic conditions followed by moving the crops to market in a regulated manner. The government has decided to establish food processing units across the state and thereby see that the farmer gets a support price for his produce. We are making the role of Rythu Samanvaya Samithis more active right from ploughing to seeding to marketing the crop for a support price.
I myself am a farmer. I am aware of the melody of living with a belief in the soil. I am also aware of the agony when hard labour is lost for no reason. That is why I have only one dream. The face and fate of the farmer should be changed. Agriculture should become profitable. The farmer shall be relieved of the debt trap and every farmer shall have some money as reserve always. I firmly wish that a day should come when, if anybody questions as to where the richest farmer is, the answer should be in Telangana. I relentlessly work for realising my dream. I will work hard with dedication for this. All the energies that God gave to me, I shall devote to for this pious cause.
Telangana ku Haritaharam introduced and implemented by the Telangana Government for environmental and ecological protection is a significant program. We are witnessing how the temperatures are rising due to deforestation and reduction in the greenery. This is not a natural disaster but a human blunder. If the same situation is allowed to continue, then, the very existence and survival of human beings on earth will be at risk. When once life becomes miserable, however much wealth, facilities and technological development progresses, there would be no purpose. Future generations will not pardon us for our negligence and indifference. Instead of going to hilly areas for enjoying cold weather to escape heat why not we develop greenery for the same? In the Haritaharam Program aimed at increasing the green cover to 33%, everyone shall participate compulsorily. I am giving a call for plantation of saplings on a large scale. By working with dedication and determination we should launch Haritha Telangana. An evergreen, pleasant and temperate Telangana shall come into being.
If the goals enunciated by the government have to reflect at field-grassroots level, the administrative machinery should become really functional. However, due to chaotic policies in Telangana for decades together, the local bodies became lethargic. They forgot their responsibilities and totally lost direction. Panchayati Raj institutions which were once functioned with movement spirit has now become a residue. Unless and until we revive and rejuvenate the local bodies our dreams will not become a reality. That is the reason why the government after redefining the functioning of local bodies enacted the new Panchayati Raj Act. Under the light of this Act, while entrusting precise responsibilities and duties to the Panchayati Raj institutions, the required funds are being provided by the government from time to time. The central finance commission allocated Rs 1229 crores to the rural local bodies in Telangana. The state as a matching grant will provide another Rs 1229 crores to these institutions. I am happy to mention that even a small village panchayat with just 500 population will get Rs 8 lakhs as development funds every year. In addition to these, the funds under the National Rural Employment guarantee scheme will also be available to the local bodies. In the future, with all this, there will be no dearth of funds for village panchayats.
In the framework of the new Panchayati Raj Act, there shall not be any scope for corruption. It’s obligatory on the part of peoples’ representatives and officers of Panchayati Raj institutions to take care of village sanitation and developing greenery. The Act will not tolerate those who fail to discharge their duties and responsibilities. They will be subjected to severe punishment besides removal from their posts. It is the intention of government, that, by stringently implementing the Act, the villages are to be converted as shining signs of hygiene, cleanliness and greenery. Every village panchayat on its own and by itself and also the people of the village shall get ready to achieve this goal.
Against the context and background of rapid urbanization, the government is contemplating enacting the new municipal Act with an objective of ushering constancy in governance and ensuring accountability. The Act stipulates in it stringent regulations to ensure that cities and towns are not expanded haphazardly and irrationally. The regulations among others will include severe measures that do not give any scope for loopholes and corruption what so ever it may be.
With the changing times and situations, the institutions and acts should also be changed, failing which the society lags far behind in battling the change. It is unfortunate and saddening that our institutions still continue reflecting the age-old concepts and notions. Despite transformation in the job nature, the institutions continue with the same nomenclature giving scope for a dearth of ideas. For instance, the revenue department came into existence at a time when there was a need for land revenue collection. Now there is no such thing as land revenue. Even though the earlier job of land revenue collection is no more, still the department runs with the name of revenue. Similarly, despite the responsibility of collecting land revenue has been done away, the designation of Collector still continues. Like this, there are many more such illogical issues in the revenue act. The act formulated during the feudal times there are many loopholes which give scope for corruption. During the cleansing and rectification of land records, all these loopholes became hurdles to the government in its efforts. Against this backdrop, the government has decided to have a relook into the revenue act and review it thoroughly. The government is engaged and involved in formulating the new revenue act to ensure that the problems and difficulties of farmers are removed as far as the sales and purchases, mutation process, registrations and provision of hereditary rights are concerned. The government hopes and seeks extensive participation of people in the implementation of this act and invites them for the same. Any reform that is done with common effort of government and people will become a reality and be successful.
I request for largescale people’s participation for successful implementation of the new Panchayati Raj, new Municipal and new Revenue Acts that I have briefed to you till now. People for their day to day requirements do have connection with these three departments. If all of us together can drive away corruption from these three departments with firm determination then we will be able to infuse confidence and respect among people on administrative systems and institutions.
People of Telangana right from the beginning have been highly conscious to reach and achieve societal goals. They have the experience of achieving successful results by fighting with unity. The unique and great separate statehood movement that the people of Telangana launched created a new chapter in the history of this country. The history of our movement has become a topic of study as a societal movement in the curriculums. With such an illustrious background of achieving our goals, for us, it is not at all a difficult task, to achieve the required changes for good governance. What is required is the power of determination and emphasis on coordination. Towards this goal let us all march forward together hand in hand and with renewed resolve. Let us establish the highest standards in putting an end to corruption and in transparent administration.