Hyderabad: In a new twist to the Krishna water sharing dispute, the Karnataka government has opposed irrigation projects being taken up by the Telangana state government on the river.
The Karnataka government has complained to the Centre against the Palamur-Ranga Reddy and Nakkalagandi lift irrigation projects being constructed by the Telangana state government.
The Karnataka government has come up with a fresh argument that after the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana state has become an upstream state like Maharashtra and Karnataka itself.
It has no right to utilise surplus water to build irrigation projects on the Krishna and only AP remains the downstream state, Karnataka now contends.
The AP government has already complained to the Centre against TS projects, and Karnataka joining the list is worrying the TS government.
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao had conceived the Palamur-RR project by redesigning the Pranahita-Chevella project with a view to utilising surplus Krishna water.
Karnataka irrigation secretary Rakesh Singh lodged a strong complaint with the Union water resources ministry seeking the Centre’s involvement in the issue and measures against irrigation projects being constructed by the TS government on the Krishna.
He stated that the Karnataka government had been taking up this issue with the Centre but there had been no response.
Chief Secretary S.K. Joshi and irrigation officials want to take up this issue with Mr Chandrasekhar Rao and irrigation minister T. Harish Rao and file a counter with the state government.
Karnataka irrigation secretary Rakesh Singh cited the 1976 Bachawat Tribunal orders in this regard stating: “The Tribunal permitted Undivided Andhra Pradesh to construct irrigation projects on the Krishna and utilise surplus water because AP is a downstream state. But after bifurcation of AP, Telangana state cannot claim downstream status and construct irrigation projects on Krishna.”
“Telangana is no more a downstream state. Telangana is a upstream state like Maharashtra and Karnataka on the Krishna. The Centre should involve in this issue immediately and restrain the Telangana government from taking up these projects,” Mr Singh said.
The Telangana state government is yet to respond on this issue.
They said the Chief Secretary and irrigation officials would meet the two leaders in a couple of days and finalise the state’s stand on this issue. “The minister is busy in election campaign in Medak district. We will soon convene a meeting to finalise the TS stand on the arguments raised by the Centre and file a counter with the Centre,” an official said.