Oppn. parties decry Centre’s nod to Upper Bhadra project in Karnataka

Centre ignored CWC rules and objections by other States, move will spell doom for Rayalaseema, say leaders

February 05, 2023 09:25 pm | Updated February 06, 2023 06:54 am IST - ANANTAPUR

TDP leader Kalava Srinivasulu speaking at a roundtable on Upper Bhradra project and its impact on Rayalaseema in Anantapur on Sunday.

TDP leader Kalava Srinivasulu speaking at a roundtable on Upper Bhradra project and its impact on Rayalaseema in Anantapur on Sunday. | Photo Credit: R.V.S PRASAD

A roundtable on “National Project status to Upper Bhadra” severely criticised the Central Government’s policy on approving the project without following proper procedure and despite several aspects legally challenged by different States. 

Leaders of the Congress, TDP, CPI(M), CPI, CPI(ML) and New Democracy along with A.P. Rythu Sangham on Sunday objected to the allocation of ₹5,300 crore to the project in Karnataka, which did not have any legal permission from the Central Water Commission and also overlooked the objections raised by Andhra Pradesh by not recording them at the last meeting. Political parties called for a united struggle on the issue.

Telugu Desam Party Polit Bureau member Kalava Srinivasulu said that the Upper Bhadra project would spell doom for the Rayalaseema districts and lead to irreparable damage to the region. He wanted the Central Government to follow a common policy for all Central projects and not benefit one State just because it was poll-bound. 

The A.P. Rythu Sangam organised the roundtable on the topic ‘Upper Bhadra construction, a danger to district water resources’. While the YSR Congress Party and BJP leaders did not attend the meeting, leaders of farmers’ associations and agricultural labour unions participated.

AP Rythu Sangam district secretary Chandrasekhar Reddy presided over the meeting. 

Bachawat Tribunal

Mr. Kalava Srinivasulu said that the Bachawat Tribunal had opposed approval of this project. The Brijesh Kumar Tribunal had said that though the issue of harvesting of the surplus water flowing in the river had been brought to the tribunal, it was still in courts. Then the demand was only 9 tmcft, but now the approval had been given for 29.9 tmcft for the Upper Bhadra project.

He expressed concern over likely cut in the allocations to HLC and LLC due to lesser yield in the Tugabhadra dam.

CPI(M) district secretary V. Rambhupal said that funds were allocated to the Polavaram project, which was one of the promises of the A.P. Reorganisation Act, but at the price estimates of 2011, but now the Centre ignored the CWC rules and allocated at 2022 prices for the Upper Bhadra. He called for a public movement against this project.

Congress leader Dada Gandhi and AP Rythu Sangam (CPI) district secretary Chennappa were among those who participated in the programme.

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