ANDHRA PRADESH

CM accuses Karnataka of ignoring directives

HYDERABAD May 22. The Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu, on Thursday criticised his Karnataka counterpart, S.M. Krishna, for, what he called, the neighbouring State Government's "attempts to exploit the weakness of lower riparian states like Andhra Pradesh by taking up projects across the two rivers at the expense of farmers here.''

``In utter disregard of the Central Government directives and court judgments, the Karnataka Government is going ahead with its projects. We will fight it out with the neighbouring State at all levels including the courts,'' the Chief Minister said.

In an informal chat with reporters at the MCR Human Resource Development Institute here, he also launched a trenchant attack on the Congress for not cooperating with the Government in protecting the interests of the State. "The Congress leaders wanted me to take up the issue of river water sharing with Mr. Krishna. I spoke to the Karnataka Chief Minister thrice over telephone and even sent a delegation headed by the Minister for Major Irrigation, Kadiam Srihari, to Karnataka, but there has been no response so far,'' he said.

Expressing concern that the projects taken up by Karnataka were leading to water shortage in Andhra Pradesh, Mr Naidu, however, asserted that the Government would fight it out at all levels to secure the State's rightful share of water. "In the process, the Government will educate the people about the attitude of Karnataka as well as the non-cooperation of the Congress in pressuring the Karnataka Government to desist from its moves,'' he said.

In this context, he said that the Government could achieve major breakthroughs in various fields including education, power and health and the entire infrastructure up to the village level was in place for taking up development programmes. However, in the light of the continuing inter-State river water sharing disputes, irrigation remained a big challenge to the Government. "While there are disputes pertaining to Krishna water sharing, there are some historical problems hindering the effective utilisation of Godavari waters which could be possible only through lift irrigation schemes involving recurring expenditure. In view of this, the Government has decided to promote water conservation and management which was the last resort for effective utilisation of the available water,'' he said.

Asked about the Congress criticism of the Government's assurances on extending a helping hand to 1 crore people, the Chief Minister said that the main Opposition is continuing its attempts to obstruct the developmental programmes being taken up by the Government instead of adopting a positive and proactive approach. "They had criticised Deepam and other schemes earlier which are being implemented successfully and they are now criticising the programmes aimed at the welfare of the people,'' he said.

Recommended for you