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State to go ahead with increasing Pothireddypadu regulator capacity

Special Correspondent

Consensus eludes all-party meeting on the contentious issue

  • TDP, TRS stage walkout
  • Meeting held in surcharged atmosphere
  • Debate on Polavaram project deferred

    GREETING TIME: Telugu Desam Party leaders greeting CPI, CPI(M), TRS and BJP leaders at the all-party meeting on the Pothireddypadu head regulator in Hyderabad on Wednesday. — Photo: P.V. Sivakumar

    HYDERABAD: An all-party meeting to resolve the controversy over the Pothireddypadu head-regulator of the Srisailam project ended on a sour note here on Wednesday but the Government announced that it would go ahead with its earlier plan to increase its discharge capacity to 40,000 cusecs.

    The Telugu Desam Party and the Telangana Rashtra Samithi staged a walk-out evoking sharp reaction from Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy who blamed the main Opposition for acting in "a highly irresponsible manner" and said the TRS, being a "sub-regional party," had to adopt a political posture of opposing projects benefiting regions other than Telangana.

    MLA creates a scene

    Speaking for the TDP, which, indeed, sought such an all-party meeting, T. Devender Goud, remained equivocal on the matter and instead raised other issues like the plan to link the Godavari with the Krishna. He led his group out in a huff with a complaint that a fresh order to increase the regulator's capacity was issued even as an all-party meeting was on the anvil. Nagam Janardhan Reddy, TDP MLA, created a scene by vociferously demanding safeguards to irrigation projects in Mahabubnagar.

    While the TDP walked out without articulating its stand on Pothireddypadu, the TRS presented a peculiar argument. Its representative, Nayani Narasimha Reddy, said on the one hand that there was no objection to diversion of floodwaters to Rayalaseema provided the tunnel capacity of the Srisailam Left Bank Canal was also increased. On the other hand, he wanted scrapping of all GOs relating to Srisailam as they were part of "a conspiracy against Telangana."

    The Congress apart, eight other parties present -- CPI(M), CPI, MIM, BJP, Janata, Samajwadi, BSP and CPI-(ML-New Democracy) backed the Government's proposal subject to the condition that the capacity of Telangana projects, particularly Kalwakurthy and SLBC were also similarly increased.

    Power-point presentation

    Dr. Rajasekhara Reddy told reporters later that the Government would go a head with proposal, now that the concerns of political parties were addressed. Responding to D. L. Ravindra Reddy, Congress MLA, he offered to have another round of discussions to provide 4,000 cusecs to benefit the drought-prone Anantapur district. The meeting, which was held in a surcharged atmosphere, began with a power-point presentation by the Government.

    A discussion on the Polavaram project, which was also listed in the agenda, was deferred till January. Dr. Reddy promised to hold an all-party meeting on Kalwakurthy and SLBC soon and issue separate GOs for each project if the parties wanted it.

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