‘Allocations are not beneficial to the State’
The verdict of the Brajesh Kumar Tribunal triggered widespread protests and dharans in the district. The TDP leaders staged a dharna at Gollapudi near here, while the farmers’ bodies and Krishna District Water Users Associations Federation (KDWUAF) asserted that the tribunal’s verdict would spell doom for the State, on Saturday.
The TDP dharna ended with the police taking Mylavaram MLA and TDP district president Devineni Umamaheswara Rao and others into custody, which, however, led to further protests. TDP urban president Buddha Venkanna staged a dharna in front of One Town police station to register his protest against the arrest.
Slogans rent the air
Slogans of the agitators rent the air at Gollapudi and near the police station. The protesters at Gollapudi faulted the State and Central governments and raised slogans like ‘Krishna delta bachao’ and ‘down down Brajesh Kumar Tribunal’.
Federation president Alla Venkata Gopala Krishna Rao said that the tribunal allocated 1,005 tmc (which includes 811 tmc allocated in 1975 and 188 tmc allocated now) to the State. The allocations, however, were not beneficial to the State and the tribunal restricted the use of surplus waters to 300 tmcft.
Raw deal to State
The State got a raw deal due to very weak arguments placed by it before the tribunal. The government at least now should take the opinions of irrigation experts and political parties and see that the tribunal verdict was stalled through the Special Leave Petition filed in the Supreme Court, he said.
Mr. Umamaheswara Rao said that the TDP staged many protests and organised agitations to protect the interests of the State. The TDP mounted pressure on the government to see that the height of Almatti dam was not raised from 519.6 m to 524.2 m.
The Congress government could not make effective arguments and the State lost rights over surplus waters due to the letter given by former Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy. The tribunal verdict would turn the delta into a desert.
The irrigation and drinking waters would be a serious problem in days to come, he said, adding, Seemandhra and Telangana Ministers should approach AICC president Sonia Gandhi, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and see that the Tribunal verdict was reviewed.