ANDHRA PRADESH

Alamatti height: TRS justifies demand

HYDERABAD Nov. 24. The Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) has justified its support for raising the height of the Alamatti dam by Karnataka saying it was nothing new as the State Government had desired extension of the Upper Krishna project, now Alamatti, before the Bachawat tribunal in 1970.

The raising of the dam height would enable the State Government to stake its claim for a share of water impounded at Alamatti. This will serve the purpose for which the extension of Upper Krishna project was sought by the then Brahmananda Reddy Government, the TRS president, K. Chandrasekhara Rao, told mediapersons here on Sunday.

Mr. Rao said the Upper Krishna and Bheema projects had been contemplated by the erstwhile Hyderabad Government in the 1930s to irrigate the drought-hit areas of Mahboobnagar district. But, after the construction of Alamatti dam with a height of 524 metres, there was no need for the Bheema project as an aqueduct over Bheema river was sufficient for water from Alamatti to irrigate drought-prone areas in Mahboobnagar district.

The TRS chief demanded completion of Kalwakurthy, Nettempad and Bheema lift irrigation schemes for the benefit of Mahboobnagar from where about 10 lakh people had migrated to other places due to lack of irrigation facilities.

Mr. Rao said he had sought an appointment with the Prime Minister and President to press for review of projects planned in Telangana. He will seek their intervention on protection of the interests of Telangana when the terms of reference were finalised for the proposed tribunal on reallocation of Krishna waters. The TRS will also plead before the new tribunal and move the Supreme Court for a share of water in Krishna for Mahboobnagar.

Referring to the Chief Minister's support for the Ganga-Cauvery link, Mr. Rao said the State would lose 700 tmcft of water if the proposal takes shape. All the earlier Chief Ministers of the State had opposed the alignment of rivers. He alleged that Mr. Chandrababu Naidu alone was supporting the move as it would ultimately help the Krishna delta.

Referring to the TRS programme of doing manual labour on Tuesday and Wednesday to raise funds for the party, Mr. Rao appealed to the contractors and industrialists to provide work to the cadre. The party expects to net Rs. 10 crores through the wages earned by workers. If the workers did not get an opportunity to work on the two specified days, they may choose alternative dates, he added.