ANDHRA PRADESH

`Pulichintala a bane for Rayalaseema, Telangana'

CUDDAPAH Nov. 13. the Pulichintala project will jeopardise the interests of the backward Rayalaseema and Telangana regions and hence the State Government's attempts to take it up must be staunchly opposed, said the Cuddapah District KC Canal Ayacutdars Association president, R. Rajagopala Reddy, on Wednesday.

Addressing a press conference here, he alleged that a campaign for taking up the Pulichintala project was launched with the Government's covert support and hence Telugu Desam Party MLAs were vehemently demanding its execution. The Chief Minister's office had `leaked out' misinformation that Pulichintala was merely a balancing reservoir and did not require water allocation, to dupe the people, he alleged.

Recalling that the Government had sought allotment for 73 tmc of water to the Pulichintala project, before the Bachawat Tribunal, he termed the claims that it did not required water allocation as a `blatant lie'. The issue was being projected now in a bid to renew the claim for allotment of water to the project before the new tribunal to be constituted, he observed.

Contending that the perennially drought-prone Rayalaseema and backward Telangana regions were meted out a raw deal in allocation of Krishna water by Bachawat Tribunal basing on the extent of catchment area, Rajagopala Reddy asserted that Rayalaseema ought to have got 143.06 tmc as against the allocation of 133.70 tmc and similarly Telangana was allotted only 266.83 tmc as against its right on 532.92 tmc. However, coastal Andhra was allotted 377.47 tmc, although it was eligible for 102 tmc considering the catchment area, he stated.

Noting the Bachawat Tribunal's observation that surplus water should be diverted to irrigate lands in scarcity (drought-hit) areas outside the river basin for optimal utilisation of water resources, he said the Government decisions were contrary to it. The Raja Rao committee deduced that 300 tmc of surplus water was available beyond the 2,060 tmc allotted by Bachawat Tribunal, he said.

Irrigation water could be given to Srisailam Right Branch Canal, Telugu Ganga, KC Canal, Velugodu, Galeru Nagari, Handri Neeva projects in Rayalaseema only through Pothireddipadu head regulator, he maintained and lamented that non-maintenance of water level in Srisailam reservoir deprived water release to these projects this year. The Government was arbitrarily considering the dead storage level of Srisailam at 798 ft., as against 854 ft. recommended by Bachawat Tribunal and this had adversely affected the projects in Rayalaseema, he alleged.

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