Basava Premanand had very widely exposed the controlling influence of Sathya Sai Baba and his minions in many State affairs also putting Sai Baba beyond the law of the land. Here he examines the much-trumpeted Sathya Sai Drinking Water Project in Rayalaseema:-

"Let us discuss about the Sri Sathya Sai Drinking Water Project which was inaugurated by Ex-Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and Indian President S.D. Sharma, Newspapers vied with each other to tomtom the benevolence and greatness of Satya Sai Baba." (See video clip here)

"TIMES OF INDIA Dated 3.12.95 came with the following news under the heading “Basu Waves Tax for Sai Trust.” The left government has granted sales tax exemption to the tune of Rs.60 lakhs to an organisation run by Satya Sai Baba. The government decision was communicated to the Sales Tax Commissioner on November 11 by a joint secretary in the department of finance for issuing the official notification.” ' Informed sources revealed that Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust’s unsigned petition for exemption of central sales tax leviable on purchases made in West Bengal for a drinking water supply project in Andhra Pradesh was placed before Chief Minister Jyoti Basu in October by Padma Khastigir, leader of the Congress opposition in Calcutta Municipal Corporation and a Former Judge of Calcutta High Court. The official added that the Trust has been granted sales tax exemption by 3 other state governments. The Trust’s petition to Mn Basu stated that it was unable to bear the financial burden of paying sales tax and pleaded for exemption on humanitarian grounds. An official in the CM’s secretariat said that the concession “although unprecedented in the states has been made in the peopIe's interest..." "With all the fan fare in news papers, television and radio all over the world the people believed the magnanimity of Satya Sai Baba. As the Prime Minister and the President had inaugurated and the water gushed out from a silver tap to a silver vessel and the audience saw the water gushing out they all believed that the parched throats of the people of Anantapur District have been quenched by giving them pure water. -No one enquired as to what really happened. Immediately the water flowed through the pipes, the pipes burst at the starting points of the water supply, and the parched earth with the dried blood of the six watchmen of Sai Baba, got satisfied after quenching its thirst. When the president knew of the real fact after his inauguration, he fell sick, President Shankar Dayal Sharma was slightly indisposed on Wednesday night, according to member of the presidential entourage reported UNI. Dr. Sharma, who was here for the 70°‘ birthday celebrations of Sri Satya Sai Baba, has suffered from a bout of pain following ‘inflammation of his knee' and could not attend a scheduled function here" "Though billions of cm water was wasted and big pools were formed near the pipe lines no news paper, or the TV or the Radio had the courage to publish about the fraud. In April only one newspaper in Telugu “Vaartha” published a series of articles for 9 days on the Sri Sathya Sai Drinking Water Supply Project where Sai Baba's pipe did not deliver water to the parched people of Anantapur. lmmediately after getting the information l rushed to Anantapur and on 21" April and 23” April made a video him. According to Times of lndia dt.3.12.1995 the judge Padma Khastagir as a self-confessed Sai`Baba acolyte for 25 years, frequently visiting the godman’s ashram. Her four-storey house in Southend Park is named Sai Sudha after the controversial godman. Such a judge to lile an unsigned petition for sales tax exemption and the Chief Minister to exempt the trust from paying sales tax is gross negligence and proves that Sai Baba is above Indian Laws. This act of the judge is a shame to the chair she had occupied as a judge so also the Chief Minister of West Bengal ordering exemption on the basis that Sathya Sai Trust was unable to bear the financial burden of paying sales tax and pleaded exemption on “humanitarian grounds" while it was the richest trust in the world. As law is said to be same for every one, I am wondering if the state and central government would exempt the people who are below the poverty line from all taxes?"  [1995] [some excerpts from Part 4 of the book 'Failed Sabotage by SSB through Gerald Moreno'  publ. by Basava Premanand  - p. 230]

PARAMAPALLI TO PUTTAPARTHI COMPREHENSIVE DIVISION OF PROTECTED WATER SUPPLY SCHEME 21.4.1996 From Anantapur we travelled a distance of about 28 km to reach Malyavantham via Bethalpalli where at 1/4 km of approach road on the either side, work of rectification of the pipe line was going on. The tirst videograph is of the right side where the broken pipes were taken out because the pipes burst out when water was released for lack of strength of pipes, want of sand cushioning, p roper bends and want of air valves. The pipes could not withstand the pressure when the water was released. This particular comprehensive part of the scheme is the chief point of the whole scheme covering the district, for it should take water from this particluar point only to the abode of Satya Sai Baba at Prasanthinilayam situated nearly 130 km away from the ground level service reservoir (GLSK) from where through gravitational force the water will be carried to the terminal point of consumption. lt starts from the river bed of Chitravathi and the supply source being under ground water. ln the video it is clearly seen that there was no sand cushioning as technically required and as well as leveling is ignored in laying the pipe line which is the basic of the pipe line technology. For want 'of air valves at the required spots and for want of required material strength to withstand pressure, resulted in bursting of the pipes. lt is learnt that standard specification of ACC pipes should be between 16 to 18 kg per where as the inlaid pipe line strength is 2 kg per The most shocking aspect here is, rectification is not rectification because it is going: to fail again for want of the strength of the pipes as the same pipes are laid again after cutting the damaged portions. This will lead to a vicious circle of again rectfication and leading to fail again till pipes of the specihed pressure strength are used. Thus, in this way if pipes break, water will never reach Prasanthinilayam or the villages in between. Another point of our assessment is in the providing of air valves on most unscientific way. ln the first instance no air valves were installed even for 5 km distance at least. So, in the repair stage they are in excess, which would result in the passage of air only instead of water. The present rate at which they are installed is one for every 50 meters as seen in the video which clearly indicates lack of knowledge of pipe line technology of Larsen & Turbo. As water should not flow through the air valves as seen in the factual scene on the videograph. Near Pullampalli the designed defect is itself clear and money is simply thrown into the gutter. Because at the first instance, they thought of going for a sump from where water had to be pumped to GLSR, but later they altered it after finishing the sump foundation to go for direct pumping to GLSR without sump. A gross deviation at whim, and fancy. The partly finished sump can be seen in the video film. The common principle of proper future maintenance is ignored and have gone to the extent of encroachment, infringing the fundamental rights of citizens to property which naturally would lead in a civil suit staying the supply of water to pass through a private land after completion of work. The videographic evidence of the owner is that they have threatened him that he will be put behind the bars and also make him liable to pay compensation of Rs.1000 per hour to the contractor which is against natural justice and our constitution. Because the pipe line which may arise in future either voluntarily or after taking due compensation from the concerned, duly authenticated and recorded for smooth functioning of the scheme. Here instead of taking the pipe line along the road they have taken a curve through the private property probably because it is the shortest route, which if required must have been used after proper authority of title over the land. The so called economy measures adopted to in the design remind us of the saying “Penny wise and pound foolish". Because pre-cast iron bends if used will give maximum strength to the material to get rid of the burden of breakage compared to the normal straight pipe which cannot be had by cutting the pipe and joining it at the required angle as the joining material cannot have the sustaining capacity against the pressure of the flowing water. So the water pipe will break near the joints immediately when the water is released through the pipe line, which would again require rectification and which cannot be rectified if the same principle of joining after cutting is adopted to. The most gross violation of law is in the employment of child labour in such a risky project that too under the hot sun on the mid summer. It is even ethically unjustified in terms of humanness which the godman always preaches and forgets to practice.

THE VIDEO COVERAGE OF SATYA SAI WATER SCHEME AND THE INTERVIEWS WITH LOCAL VILLAGERS ON 21.4.1996 we visited the villages, Pullampalli, Puleobalayyapalli. The leakage spots have been videoed. At Pallampalli a farmer was interviewed about the pipe line going through his lands. Question: Did you give permission for taking the pipe line through your lands? Answer : No sir, I had objected at the time of the work, but the contractor threatened me by saying that for the delay you have caused, you will have to pay one thousand rupees per hour. Then I was afraid to object. They have laid the pipe line. Question : Is the water coming to your village? Answer : No, not coming. Question : Why? Answer : Due to leakage of water, it is not reaching up to the distribution point. Some of the leakage points are covered in the video. Broken pipes are also covered. 23.4.1996 We visited Suganmala, Kondapuram, Rayalcheruvu, Naganur in Tadapatri area. The following is the interview recorded on the videograph: Question : What is this pipe line? Answer : Sai Baba's water. Question : Is the water coming to your village? Answer : No, not coming. Question : Did they release water? Answer : Just for one day they have released. But due to pipe bursting they have stopped the supply of water. They have repaired, but leakage has not stopped. Question : Why is it so? Answer : The pipes are not laid properly. There is no level. Due to lot of ups and downs, the water flow is not proper. The pipes used are not withstanding the pressure. The pipes are also full of cracks. Every where there is leakage of water.

The pipes used are not properly cured, inferior quality and so could not withstand the pressure. The work is not executed properly. The work was done hastily and planning is not proper. These are the main factors in failure of this scheme. Though lots of money is spent, the scheme has failed. Contractors are also not fully paid. L&T are the main contractors. The supervising staff is not experienced. They have recruited many youngsters who have no experience at all in execution. All this lead to the failure of the scheme. L&T have given the contract to sub contractors at double the rate of the government and got the bills. 20 to 30% is not paid to the contractors though they have received the receipts from the sub contractors. The Central and State governments have exempted the purchase of materials from Central Excise Duty which is 25% and sales tax which is 10% or more. The suppliers have billed for more quantity than it is necessary and thus duped the government. The State Government also has paid Rs. Thirty crores for the scheme to the Satya Sai Trust. T ` With the exemptions and the Rs.30 crores given as gift the Government could have very well given water to the people of Anantapur District.

from 'Failed Sabotage by SSB through Gerald Moreno' published by Basava Premanand 2007 [copyright Indian CSICOP] (696 pages) p. 231f

Ramana Baba, also known as Muz Murray, reported to me:- Investigators however, maintain that these claims have another side to them. It was found that the authorities had previously refused permission for a water pipe solely for the private use of the ashram, unless other villages on the way were also supplied, as many in the region were without water. Permission to lay 2000 km of pipeline to the ashram was only granted after accepting this proviso. But even though some of the villages of the Rayalaseema region through which the pipeline runs are now getting good water, others say that half the pipelines are blocked or badly fitted and they are still not getting a supp

The water projects in Rayalaseema, Andhra Pradesh, Medak and Mahabubnagar, and the canal repair for Chennai financed from donations made by followers of Sathya Sai Baba (and subsidized by government) were named after Sathya Sai Baba. They are no doubt admirable for those who suffer water shortages and now receive more than before. Much was achieved, while much went wrong, and no one connected with Sathya Sai Baba is allowed to mention anything negative about these projects, which are widely promoted as 'Divine Miracles'. This article is therefore simply to help correct some of this totally one-sided propaganda. I repeat, this is not to denigrate the good intentions of those who donated (including myself!) nor whatever positive results have been achieved. Rather, it is simply to counterbalance the mendacious aspects of Sathya Sai baba projects and what most of the Indian media have become afraid to publish concerning anything critical of what government-protected Sathya Sai Baba says or does and so contributes to many public misconceptions.

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