Special Correspondent

Urges political parties to sink differences and fight for fair share of river water or be prepared for desertification

Forging hands to prevent Koyna water diversion for power generation more worthy cause, it says

Samakhya quotes Jawaharlal Nehru’s letter opposing water diversion

VIJAYAWADA: Leaders of the Andhra Pradesh Rythanga Samakhya have called upon leaders of various political parties in the State to set aside their differences and fight for a fair share of water or be prepared to see desertification of Krishna delta very soon.

The drying of the delta would just be the beginning, they cautioned at a press conference here on Thursday.

Samakhya president Yerneni Nagendranath, a former chairman of the State Drainage Board, said that nobody in the State was raising any objection to diversion of over a 100 tmcft of water from the Koyna, a tributary of the Krishna, just for power generation.

The Samakhya leader recalled that a person no less than Jawaharlal Nehru had opposed the diversion of river water to the other side of the Western Ghats just for power generation.

In a letter to the then Chief Minister of Maharashtra V.P. Naik, Nehru wrote: “You want this water for power production and not for irrigation. It should be possible to provide you with power for this area from various places, without your having to divert the river, which will mean lack of irrigation facilities in other parts of the country.” Mr. Nagendranath read out the excerpts from the letter.

Releasing a letter dated November 14, 2004, to the Parliamentary Committee on Water Resources that held a hearing at Hyderabad, the farmers’ leader said that he had been making representations to various bodies since then, but to no avail. The capacity of Koyna dam had been increased from 99 tmcft in 2004 to 105 tmcft in 2006, he said.

Mr. Nagendranath said he had also pointed out to the Parliamentary Committee that Karnataka was constructing several unauthorised projects that were being brought into limelight by MLAs of a particular party.

Time to unite

But the prevention of Koyna water diversion for power generation would be a more worthy cause and this could be done only if all the political parties worked with unity to achieve the common goal.

He felt that the Rajasekhara Reddy Government should fight for a fair share of river water for the State, failing which there would be no water in the projects that were being constructed.

Samakhya vice-president M.S. Nagireddy and former MLA Adusumilli Jayaprakash were present.