Expressing his strong displeasure at the lackadaisical attitude of the Congress’ central leadership in dealing with the 60-day-old agitation against the State’s bifurcation, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy on Friday sought to know how the concerns of the Seemandhra region would be addressed.
At a press conference, Mr. Reddy spoke of the fate of 1.6 lakh government employees, who were working in various parts of the State under the zonal system. If the State was divided, at least 30 per cent staffers falling in this category would face hardships, he said. Similarly, there was no clarity on the fate of an overwhelming number of pensioners who had settled in Hyderabad and its surrounding areas.
Mr. Reddy also sought an answer to the issue of employment and educational opportunities in Hyderabad and wondered how it would compensate the youth and students of Seemandhra, who had made a beeline to State capital in search of the same. Quoting the Srikrishna Committee report, the CM said every year 10.6 per cent people migrated to the twin cities, which only proved its importance.
He said government employees were on strike for almost two months despite financial hardship, which only proved their commitment to the cause of united Andhra Pradesh. He justified his concerns, saying that as the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, he had every right to think about their well-being and welfare.
Speaking about irrigation projects and the fall-out of bifurcation, he said Nagarjunasagar and Srisailam projects would bear the brunt.
“If the State is divided and monsoon plays truant, there will be water war,” Mr. Reddy said.
He said Polavaram project was already facing objections from neighbouring States on the issue of submergence and the same fate would befall Dummugudem and Pulichintala too. He said sharing of river water was the key issue before Centre proceeds with its decision to divide the State.
On the power front too, he predicted a gloomy scenario, stating that generation units on either side of the Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar projects would focus on providing power to their respective States.