ANDHRA PRADESH

White paper on Rayalaseema sought

KURNOOL, AUG. 1. President of the Rayalaseema Hakkula Ikya Vedika, T.G. Venkatesh, has urged the Government to publish a white paper on Rayalaseema, comparing its growth in the areas of agriculture, industrialisation, employment, irrigation and per capita income with that of other regions.

More funds urged

Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, Mr. Venkatesh said the Government should pump extra funds to Rayalaseema until it reached the level of other regions. The Rayalaseema leadership had "sacrificed" the capital to Hyderabad to support the cause of a unified State at that time. Advocates of a unified State promised many sops to the Rayalaseema region at the time of formation of the State but none of them were honoured. Even the Srisailam project constructed in the region was serving the interests of people downstream, while Rayalaseema was starved of water for irrigation and drinking purpose.

Injustice alleged

He said great injustice was done to Rayalaseema in the allocation of the Krishna and Pennar waters. Rayalaseema region could tap water from the Krishna by constructing a small structure resembling a check dam or anicut near Sidheswaram but the Srisailam project was proposed only to help people downstream. There was no clarity in the Government itself how it could ensure 19 tmcft of water to the SRBC and 15 tmcft to Chennai without making proper arrangements for drawal of water from the Krishna through the SRMC.

He asked the Government not to divert the issue of water problem by making a formal request to Karnataka to release water from Alamatti. It should be clear by now that Karnataka, which had no intention of releasing water for the drinking needs of downstream people, will not help by releasing water for irrigation. Instead, the Government should make efforts to secure water through legal process.

Mr. Venkatesh said a Rayalaseema convention would be organised on August 15 and the resolutions proposed by various sections would be formally introduced in the meeting.

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