ANDHRA PRADESH

Joint stir to prevent Karnataka from building projects mooted

ONGOLE MAY 22. The BJP general secretary, K. Lakshman, has called for a united agitation to bring pressure on Karnataka to give up its attempts to build irrigation projects across the Krishna and Pennar at the cost of the people of Andhra Pradesh.

Addressing the media here on Thursday, he maintained that it was time for all political parties to close ranks and work together in the larger interests of the State.

He called upon the Congress to prevail upon its high command to direct the party Government in Karnataka to withdraw its move to illegally build projects on the Krishna, the Pennar and Chitravati rivers. The proposed projects in Karnataka, would turn Rayalaseema a desert, he said.

This apart, another project on the Papagni river is being planned by Karnataka violating the riparian rights of Andhra Pradesh. If the Paragodu project is constructed it would make the Rs. 300 crore water project built by Puttaparthi Satya Sai Baba, to provide drinking water to several villages in Anantapur, useless.

Karnataka is misleading the Centre and AP while saying that it is building projects only for drinking water purposes. Though it stated that only 1.5 tmcf water would be utilised for Paragodu, in practice, it started works worth Rs.10 crores to hold 10 tmcf of water.

He said recently the BJP took out a padayatra from Puttaparthi to Paragodu and exerted pressure on the Centre. With the Union Minister for Water Resources writing a letter to Karnataka objecting to its move, it temporarily stopped the project, he said.

Hailing the Chief Minister, N. Chandrababu Naidu's appeal that all parties in the State cutting across political lines should join hands to build up pressure on the neighbouring State, he suggested that if need be all parties should jointly take out a padayatra on the issue.

Mr. Lakshman said as the main Opposition party in the State the Congress could not shirk its responsibility of striving for the State's interests. It should soon take up the issue with its high command, he said.

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