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Jubilation in Congress camp

By Our Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD, FEB. 11. The Chief Minister, Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, has expressed happiness at the Supreme Court judgment today in favour of the Government's action in awarding 21 major irrigation projects to nine firms.

Dr. Reddy was hardly able to conceal his delight as he received bouquet and sweets from the Major Irrigation Minister, Ponnala Laxmaiah, at the Secretariat this evening over the "final victory." He said he was extremely happy that they would be able to ground "dream projects" such as Polavaram Right Bank Canal, Thotapalli, Veligonda, Gandikota, Telugu Ganga and Yellampalli at least now.

Court supreme

He regretted that the litigation by the private individual had delayed the execution of the projects by three months but the Government was more than satisfied that the issue had been settled once and for all. His Government had always been always for honouring the directives issued by courts.

"God willing, no political obstructions can now stand in the way of "Jala yagnam,'' he said. The first task now was to compensate for the loss of time by pumping money into the ongoing works out of the current budget which still got two months to lapse, and ground all 21 packages immediately.

Mr. Laxmaiah said the judgment came as a blanket clearance to the policy and methodology adopted for selecting firms and tenders.

CLP feels vindicated

The Congress Legislature Party too welcomed the Supreme Court judgment and hoped the works would be completed on time.

In a statement, the Chief Whip, N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, and two other members of the CLP -- D. Sridhar Babu and V.Vasantha Kumar -- said the Government stand was vindicated by the judgment.

Urging "vested interests" not to create further hurdles and cooperate with the Government in completing the projects on time, they congratulated the Chief Minister for undertaking the "Maha Jalayagnam."

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