Parties in TS, AP at loggerheads over irrigation projects

The recent decision of Telangana government to construct half-a-dozen irrigation projects on river Krishna has kicked off a fresh war of words between political parties in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh blaming the rivals.

The TRS Ministers S. Niranjan Reddy, V. Srinivas Goud and V. Prashant Reddy have defended the projects as they were tit-for-tat to the Rayalaseema lift-irrigation scheme and a canal on the right bank of Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme (RDS) constructed by AP government.

The YSR Congress government of AP led by Irrigation Minister P. Anil Kumar Yadav reacted strongly saying the State was only utilising its share of water in the river by grounding the schemes. He was supported by party MLAs G. Srikanth Reddy and Ms. Roja.

In the midst of claims and counter claims by the two governments, the BJP and Congress joined the issue blaming it on Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao for prolonging the issue of reallocation of water between the two States over six years by filing a case in Supreme Court.

The presidents of BJP State committees in Telangana and AP Bandi Sanjay Kumar and Somu Veerraju respectively targeted the Telangana government. On Wednesday, Telangana Congress legislature party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka also reacted strongly to the delay in water reallocation.

Refuting the claim of AP government that it was using its share of water, Telangana has contended that there was no question of share for any State because the matter was neither settled by court nor the river water disputes tribunal. Only a temporary arrangement was made by AP and Telangana to share water in the ratio of 512 tmc ft : 299 tmc ft till the final allocation was made.

The Telangana government also highlighted that AP had allocation of assured water to carry 15 tmc ft to meet drinking water requirements of Chennai and 19 tmc ft in right bank canal of Srisailam project. Beyond that, all projects in the State were dependent on flood in Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar projects.

Telangana had moved the Supreme Court after its demand to the Centre in the wake of formation of the State in 2014 to refer reallocation of water between the four States -- Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and AP -- to a tribunal went unheeded. The demand was later scaled down to only Telangana and AP.

Even before the court disposed of the case, the Centre referred the question of reallocation of water to an existing tribunal headed by Justice Brijesh Kumar which made project-wise allocation of water which was not to the satisfaction of Telangana.

On Centre’s proposal as a way of conceding the demand, Telangana withdrew the case with the rider that it would go back to court if the demand was not referred to the tribunal.

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 3:55:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/parties-in-ts-ap-at-loggerheads-over-irrigation-projects/article34940092.ece

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