The Telangana State Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao returned to Hyderabad from the national capital though he was expected to stay for one more day in order to meet Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharathi who was out of station.
There was no mention of Special Category status to the State from the Centre but many Ministers assured of support for individual projects.
KCR met Union Rural Development Minister Birendra Singh and sought assistance for Panchayat Raj, Water Grid and Rural Development projects but the Minister assured of Centre’s support possibly in the budgetary allocations of 2015-2016. KCR met Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu at his residence and interacted with him for an hour, followed by lunch hosted by the latter.
KCR expressed concern over urban governance referring to Hyderabad and asked for Centre’s support to implement infrastructure projects including Water Grid, Urban Commuting and Housing for All. He told the Centre that the cities and towns in Telangana were performing better than many others in the country under Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewable Mission (JNNURM).
He expressed concern over the state of affairs in urban governance and the need to transform it through necessary reforms to make urban local bodies rise to the challenges of rapid urbanisation and convert the same into opportunities. Both of them shared views on building infrastructure in the cities and towns of Telangana, water supply and sanitation and developing some of the existing cities as smart cities.
Naidu mentioned the new initiatives of the Centre in urban sector and possible assistance to the State. Naidu assured the Chief Minister of complete support and cited assistance through Centre’s initiatives such as Housing for All. Both the leaders agreed on collaborative effort between the Centre and States to address challenges of growing urbanisation. Naidu explained to KCR about the flaws in implementation of JNNURM which fell short of targets but how to bring effective changes.
However, he complimented KCR’s initiative to build two room houses for the economically weaker sections. Naidu also assured KCR to release funds under the new scheme for 500 cities which will be launched by the Centre soon.
When KCR asked for funds under JNNURM regarding release of funds to the water supply schemes at a total cost of about Rs 1,600 crores, Naidu clarified that the previous UPA government had wound up JNNURM on 31 March 2014 and did not release any funds for these schemes. KCR also met Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari before he flew to the State capital.
During his meetings with the Ministers, he was accompanied by TRS MPs, special representative in Delhi S Venugopala Chary and other officers.