Hyderabad: Telangana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Monday railed at the central government as well as Andhra Pradesh government for hindering the execution of irrigation projects in Telangana state.
The chief minister called a meeting of his senior staff to finalise the states's tactics if the Union Water Resources Ministry calls an Apex Council meeting--which is likely any time after the second week of this month--on the water dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The chief minister said he was disappointed with the government of Andhra Pradesh for not reciprocating the good faith he had shown in accommodate state's interests. “I took the initiative, invited the state leaders, offered them lunch and discussed the matter. I extended a friendly hand so that both states could construct projects needed by their people.”
He added, “Our intention is clear: since both states are neighbours, both should move forward to the final goal of giving water to farmers instead of allowing the surplus waters of the Krishna and Godavari rivers go waste into the sea.”
The chief minister said “the AP government has unnecessarily poked us. They lodged baseless allegations and complaints against us. Let us give a befitting answer in the Apex Council to effectively counter their charges and shut their mouth once and for all.”
The chief minister made it clear that Telangana was constructing projects based on the state's share of river waters and it was not at all correct to raise objections to projects for which allocation of water was agreed upon before the formation of Telangana.
KCR pointed out that “the Centre too is raising unnecessary objections over releasing water from Srisailam to Nagarjuna Sagar. In fact, Srisailam is not an irrigation project. It is a hydroelectric project. Without taking these facts into consideration, the Centre is raising objections. That is not proper."
He stuck to the line that the projects being built in the Godavari and Krishna basins in Telangana were sanctioned prior to the formation of Telangana. Water allocations were made for these projects. Permissions from all the institutions concerned were given including the Central Water Commission (CWC). About Rs 23,000 crore were already spent and 31,500 acres of land were acquired.
So calling them new projects is "absurd, meaningless and foolish". He pointed out that the Kaleshwaram, Sammakka Sagar, Rajiv Sagar Sitarama Project and Sithamma Sagar projects were taken up after redesigning theh Pranahita-Chevella , Kanthanapally, Indira Sagar and Dummugudem projects.
He recalled that in the first Apex Council meeting held in the past, the AP government had acceded to the Macchumarri and Palamuru-Ranga Reddy projects; so it was not proper for the state to raise objections now.
He explained that the Tribunal made it clear that 20 per cent of water used for drinking water purposes should be taken into consideration and accordingly, of the 110 TMC of water used for drinking water purposes in Telangana, 22 TMC should be taken into account.
Maintaining that Telangana faced a lot of injustices in irrigation right from the beginning, KCR reminded that the Bachawat tribunal itself made it clear that Telangana was facing injustices in the allocation of water. Keeping in view of injustice caused to Telangana the Bachawat tribunal made special allocation to Telangana.
Arguing that in fact Telangana needs more water, he said “we need to get 1000 additional TMC from the Godavari surplus water. Godavari has more catchment area in Telangana. River Godavari flows in more areas in Telangana."
Stating that of the 2000 TMC that goes into the sea, he requested the
Centre that Telangana should at least be allocated 1000 TMC