Special Correspondent

`Andhra Pradesh's view on surplus waters vindicated'

YSR expresses happiness that the tribunal did not grant stay against the projects taken up by Andhra Pradesh Vows to continue fight with other States on projects in disputeMinister Ponnala Lakshmaiah too expresses happiness

HYDERABAD: Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy has hailed the interim order issued by the Krishna Water Tribunal as vindicating and endorsing the view taken by Andhra Pradesh on the Krishna river's surplus waters.

Reacting to the order on Friday, he expressed happiness that the tribunal did not grant stay against the projects taken up by Andhra Pradesh based on surplus waters as sought by Karnataka and Maharashtra. "So, there will be no hindrance to the surplus water-based projects under execution as part of Jalayagnam. The State interests are protected. Nobody can say that ours is not a correct path," he told reporters here.

Asked as to how his Government was going to stop the projects being executed by Karnataka like Upper Thunga, Upper Bhadra and Singathalur, the Chief Minister said: "Our fight, however, will continue. We will approach the Supreme Court, if necessary."

The operative portion of the order over which politicians and officials are happy here states that the Tribunal "is not inclined to grant interim relief in the terms so prayed for by Karnataka and Maharashtra" against the AP projects. The order upheld that Andhra Pradesh could utilise the surplus waters but "shall not entitle to raise any claim on the ground of prior utilisation/committed use". This was in line with the Bachawat Tribunal award, which said Andhra Pradesh was "at liberty to use surplus waters but without any prescriptive right."

The order, however, said AP "shall not start any other new project utilising surplus water without informing the other two States and the tribunal."

In a statement, Major Irrigation Minister P. Lakshmaiah also expressed happiness.