Andhra Pradesh

Seema leaders joining hands to assert region’s water rights

Tadipatri Municipal Chairman J.C. Prabhakar Reddy and former APCC president N. Raghuveera Reddy during their meeting at Neelakantapuram in Anantapur district on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: R.V.S. PRASAD

The Ministry of Jal Shakti’s gazette notification on July 15 vesting the power to administer, regulate, operate, and maintain the projects on the Godavari and the Krishna with the Godavari River Management Board and the Krishna River Management Board, and the opposition from Telangana to part with water through Pothyreddypadu has generated considerable political heat in the Rayalaseema districts.

Once colleagues in the Indian National Congress, but now in different parties – M.V. Mysoora Reddy, J.C. Prabhakar Reddy, and N. Raghuveera Reddy – have come onto the same page to protect the rights of the people of Rayalaseema over irrigation water, and are regularly in touch with apolitical people and activists working for the cause.

Following the Centre’s notification, Mr. Mysoora Reddy, a former Home Minister, issued a statement calling for creation of ‘Greater Rayalaseema’ to protect its people’s rights on all issues. Later, Mr. Prabhakar Reddy met Mr. Mysoora Reddy on Tuesday and Mr. Raghuveeera Reddy on Sunday.

“I am meeting people from all the political parties and apolitical activists to bring them onto a single platform. I propose to organise a roundtable in a couple of months for a board-based discussion on how to protect our rightful share in the Krishan waters,” Mr. Prabhakar Reddy told The Hindu.

Mr. Prabhakar Reddy and Mr. Raghuveera Reddy met at Neelakantapuram in Anantapur district for five hours discussing the water projects.

The Nandyal-based Rayalaseema Saaguneeti Sadhana Samithi has been fighting for the water rights of the region for the last seven years. In July, it had conducted meetings in Nandyal, Kadapa, Tirupati, and Puttaparthi. It proposes to conduct a meeting in Kurnool soon.

“We have been inviting political leaders, engineers, activists and apolitical organisations in all the districts to step up efforts in getting our rightful share of water,” said its president Bojja Dasaratharami Reddy.

“While the Rayalaseema region has assured water for an ayacut of 19.82 lakh acres, it is at present getting irrigation water enough for only 7.98 lakh acres. The political parties need to focus on this,” Mr. Dasaratharami Reddy said.

“The region has several ongoing projects, but none of them has been completed. We neither have sufficient reservoir capacity to store nor canals to irrigate the fields,” he observed.

“The Handri-Neeva Sujala Sravanthi (HNSS), the Galeru-Nagari Sujala Sravanthi (GNSS), the Veligonda, the Somasila, and the Kandaleru projects have now no lawful right over the allocated water, as all these have been shown as ongoing in the gazette. They have access to only the flood waters,” the Rayalaseema leaders pointed out.

The movement is slowly gaining momentum. The BJP made a beginning by conducting meetings on the issue in Kurnool and Vijayawada. The TDP is proposing to organise a meeting in the next fortnight. The Congress proposes to hold one meeting either in Kadapa or Anantapur district by the end of August or in September first week going by APCC president S. Sailajanath’s remarks.


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Printable version | Sep 20, 2021 5:46:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/seema-leaders-joining-hands-to-assert-regions-water-rights/article35671340.ece

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