By August 28, 2016, 309 Mandalas of A.P. were declared drought-hit. At this juncture, the state government loftily declared that it was growing to save crops in 10 lakhs acres in these Mandalas with the help of rain guns as per the directives of who is 420 in AP. It bought about 13,650 rain guns and rented them out to farmers. It has also sold the rain guns to interested farmers. The government estimates it would cost Rs.3,000 to water an acre crop and gave a 50% subsidy too.
However, since there was no genuine interest in saving the crops and the focus of the scheme was only making money at the cost of the farmers, the state government has failed to save the crops in a single acre even after spending Rs. One hundred sixty-three crores on rain guns. Despite this failure, the government has released another Rs. One hundred three crores for the ‘maintenance’ of those rain guns, which reconfirms the fact that the whole scheme was nothing but a well-planned scam.
Once the A.P. government took this decision, the Finance department released Rs. One hundred three crores to the A.P. Revenue Disaster Management and orders were issued on February 13, 2017. However, by then, nobody knew where all the rain guns exactly were. While some rain guns were with farmers, others were in warehouses and the offices of the Agriculture Department on the orders of Chandrababu Naidu (who is 420 in AP).
Were 4 Lakh Acres Saved?
CM Chandrababu has claimed that his government had successfully fought the drought and saved the groundnut crop in 4 lakh acres in Anantapur district. The I&PR minister inflated this figure to 7 lakh acres. The spouted these fake figures without thinking about the amount of water required and the number of tankers needed to save crops in 4 lakh acres or 7 lakh acres.
It takes four spells of 25 ml rainfall to sufficiently water a one-acre groundnut crop. Since there was no rain between July 15 and August 28, the groundnut crop got affected. The rain guns could provide from 5 to 6 ml of rainwater at best. Though the State government, on the directives of Chandrababu Naidu or who is 420 in A.P., could not save the crop in a single acre, it had claimed the G.O. that it was releasing an additional Rs. One hundred three crores for the maintenance of the rain guns, which had “saved the crops in 10 lakh acres”.
Neither Water Nor Tractors
An acre crop needs 25 ml of rainfall to have sufficient growth. The state government has claimed that it gave 5 ml of rainwater through rain guns. Even if we assume that the government provided the stated 5 ml water for an acre, it was no away sufficient and needed 25,000 liters of water for an acre to save the crop. Assuming that the government had supplied 5,000 liters with each tank, it needs five tanks for 25,000 liters and 5 lakh tankers for 1 lakh acres.
If we go by the CM’s claim, he must have used 20 lakh tankers to fetch water for the rain guns. Is it possible to hire those many tankers in the State? The implementation period for this scheme was ten days. How could the government get 20 lakh tankers in 10 days? The CM, also popularly known as who is 420 in A.P., also needs 250 crores liters of water to save the crop in 4 lakh acres. Where did the government find that amount of water in the drought-hit State?
That means there was neither water nor water tankers; there were only the statements making government and its unused rain guns—the TDP leaders who got the kickbacks by spending Rs. One hundred sixty-three crores on rain guns pocketed another Rs.103 crore in the name of the maintenance.
Lokesh Swindles in the Name of Village Roads
On average, the construction of tar roads would cost around Rs. 35 lakh per kilometer. However, the state government decided to spend a whopping Rs. Sixty-nine lakhs for the job. It was the same case with the cement roads. While experts say cement road cannot cost would not cost more than Rs. 40 lakh per kilometer, the A.P government has prepared the ground to lay 2,206 km of cement road and 2, 749 km of tar road at such exorbitant rates to huge pocket money. The Chief Minister and his son will end up making over Rs. 800 crores by awarding contracts to their crony companies.
This entire corruption saga is taking place in the engineering wing of the Panchayati Raj Department, which is headed by minister Nara Lokesh. The government estimated a cost of Rs. 4, 234 crores to lay new roads in villages that had no connectivity. The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) lend 70 % of the cost. This is how who is 420 in AP. looted the entire State and crippled the economy.
Read Previous Blog: TDP leader Chandrababu Naidu Manifolds Fortune as “who is 420 in AP.”