Creating an “unsafe environment” for the nearly 50 lakh Telugu people living in Maharashtra, who are mostly from the Telangana region, through its Babli agitation is unfair on the part of the Telugu Desam, opined speakers at a round table conducted by the Andhra Pradesh Jalayagna Sadhana Samithi on Saturday.

The speakers said thousands of people could not get jobs in Andhra Pradesh during Chandrababu Naidu's rule in the State, and they all left for Maharashtra in search of employment and have been living in places like Sholapur and Bhiwandi.

The present belligerent posturing adopted by the TDP will harm the interests of Telugu-people in such places, they feared.

Vijayawada Central MLA Malladi Vishnu alleged that the TDP chief was politicising the issue, although the State government had been trying to sort out the problem through democratic means. The Babli issue was a sensitive one and it would have to be dealt with carefully. Spoiling the friendly relations between the two states was not right, he said.

‘Norms violated'

Retired Executive Engineer T. Sobhanadri spoke about the technical aspects of the projects and said the Maharashtra government had violated the regulations as it constructed the project illegally in the catchment of Sriram Sagar Project. “The project was conceived to impound only 2.74 tmcft of water but now with the changed design it can impound water to about 7 tmcft. It is the Central government that has to solve the issue by holding meaningful discussions between the two states,” he said.

Andhra Pradesh Jalayagna Sadhana Samithi convenor Kolanukonda Shivaji said the proposals and tenders for the Babli project were finalised during the TDP regime, but the party remained silent then.

The party was trying to derive political mileage in the by-elections in the Telangana region by raking up the issue now.

Resolutions were passed seeking steps to hold a meaningful dialogue between the two States, constitution of a committee of chief ministers of other Sates to go into the problem and stopping the construction of 14 “illegal” projects in Maharashtra.

The round table also condemned the “inhuman” manner in which the TDP leaders were treated by the Maharashtra police.

Former mayor Tadi Shakuntala, Deputy Mayor S.P. Gritton, Samatha Party leader V.V. Krishna Rao and others participated.

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