Apex Council meeting of September 21 on river waters likely to be stormy

The first meeting of Apex Council comprising the Union Water Resources Minister and the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana States scheduled in New Delhi on September 21 is likely to be a stormy affair, even as it is being convened on the directions of the Supreme Court in response to petitions filed against Palamuru-Ranga Reddy and Dindi lift irrigation projects.

According to officials sources, the agenda for the meeting received by the two State Governments late on Friday night has only two points of discussion -- the two lift irrigation projects in Telangana against which petitions were filed by a group of farmers belonging to AP. Bowing to pressure from the Opposition and other parties, including farmers’ organisations, the AP Government impleaded in the case later.

However, highly-placed officials told The Hindu that Telangana Government has already made up its mind to make a strong pitch in favour of the two projects by highlighting the orders issued by the combined AP Government in the past for taking up the two projects.

Copies of GOs issued for the purpose are also likely to be submitted to the Apex Council Chairperson and Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati, although they were handed over to the ministry on earlier occasions.

State seeks more water allocation

“Besides, the Telangana Government is resolved to raise related issues such as higher allocation of assured waters in Krishna in lieu of Polavaram and Pattiseema projects.

A strong case will be made seeking 90 TMC ft assured water in lieu of diversion of Godavari water to the Krishna Basin, 45 TMC ft each against the two projects, as such provision for such re-allocation was made in the Bachawat Tribunal award itself,” the official sources explained.

Further, Telangana would raise the issue of unaccounted for diversion of huge quantity of water, over 75 TMC ft already this water year, from the Pothireddypadu regulator located on the foreshores of Srisailam reservoir in Kurnool district.

The State would also press for proper mechanism to account inflows and outflows into major reservoirs on which the two States have disagreement and also utilisation of water in different irrigation systems.

“Survey being done for Rajoliband Diversion Scheme (RDS) right canal to take more water from the system to Kurnool district, to which Brijesh Kumar Tribunal has allocated 4 TMC ft water, even before the award coming into force will also be highlighted at the Apex Council meeting,” the sources added.

KCR chairs meeting

A high-level meeting was chaired by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on Saturday as part of preparing for the Apex Council meeting. Meanwhile, the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) demanded the Telugu Desam Party leaders of Telangana State to press their party chief and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu admit that the two projects were initiated during combined AP rule itself, if they were committed to the interests of Telangana.

Palamuru-Ranga Reddy and Dindi projects high on the agenda

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