ANDHRA PRADESH

Assured water for irrigation projects sought

CUDDAPAH Nov. 13. The Convenor of the Movement for Redistribution of Krishna River Waters, K. Balagopal, has demanded that the State Government allot assured water for irrigation projects conceived in the drought-prone Rayalaseema and southern Telangana districts during redistribution of the 811 tmc of water allotted by the Bachawat Tribunal.

Demanding legislative safeguards for assured water allotment to projects in Rayalaseema and south Telangana, he advised the Government to accord priority to drought-hit areas while putting forth its arguments and demands before the new tribunal to be constituted. He demanded constitution of a River Valley Authority for resolving the inter-State riparian dispute with Karnataka.

Dr. Balagopal mooted an independent authority to oversee the redistribution among the three regions in the State and urged the Government to elicit opinions of movement leaders before finalising the demands to be placed before the new tribunal. A resolution to this effect was sent to the Government, he said in a statement.

The movement leaders drafted from five drought-prone districts were undertaking a survey of the status of the existing as well as pending irrigation projects and would finalise a report by December end, he said.

The survey was completed in Nalgonda district on November 9 and 10 and would be undertaken in Anantapur district on November 23, Mahabubnagar on November 24 and in Kurnool and Cuddapah district on November 30 and December 1, he said.

The issues would be discussed in depth at a seminar slated in Sundarayya Vignana Kendram at Hyderabad on November 17, in which the retired chief engineers, M.S. Reddy and Vidyasagar Rao would lecture, followed by airing of opinions by leaders of all political parties, Dr. Balagopal said.

Inter-regional rivalry could crop up if the Government stressed on asserting rights over surplus water, without a rational redistribution of Krishna waters within the State, he cautioned.

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