Can build barrage to counter Andhra’s ‘illegal’ project: Telangana

Hyderabad, Oct 6 (IANS) The Telangana government on Tuesday threatened to build a barrage to lift three TMC of water every day from the Krishna river for agriculture if Andhra Pradesh fails to stop construction of “illegal projects” like Pothireddypadu.

During the apex council meeting held through video conference and presided over by Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao made it clear that Telangana would construct a barrage at Alampur-Pedda Marur to lift 3 TMC of water every day for agriculture, if the Andhra government fails to stop construction of “illegal projects” like Potireddypadu and others on the Krishna river.

He reiterated that the Telangana government is ready to protect the interests of its farmers and would not keep quiet if the Andhra Pradesh government attempts to render “injustice” to Telangana in river water usage, and “usurps the rights of Telangana and break all the regulations as it was done under the united Andhra Pradesh”.

The CM explained in details with data and facts about Telangana’s rights on Krishna and Godavari waters, and its allocations to Shekhawat and his counterpart in the lower riparian state, Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

“The injustices being meted out to Telangana in river water allocation has resulted in separate Telangana statehood movement. The newly-formed Telangana state has every right to get its lawful share in the inter-state water allocations. The irrigation water share that the Telangana lost under the united AP, will be reclaimed and achieved under the Telangana State,” a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office quoted him as saying.

KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, said it was unfortunate and painful that despite Telangana lodging several complaints against the Andhra government for constructing illegal projects and the Centre’s guidelines on the issue, the Andhra government is going ahead with the projects.

He condemned the Pothireddypadu Canal construction, which is “illegally” taking water from the Srisailam project, saying that this project was opposed by Telangana society during the separate statehood movement and yet the Andhra government is going ahead with it.

In his presentation on the details of river water sharing and the allocations to be made to Telangana, KCR said that in the initial days of formation of Telangana, on July 14, 2014, the state government wrote a letter to the Centre to constitute a Tribunal under the Interstate Water Disputes Act of 1956 but the Centre till date did not respond to the letter.

Since the Centre had not taken any measure, after waiting for one year, the state government had filed a petition in the Supreme Court. KCR also demanded immediate constitution of the Tribunal.

However, Union Minister Shekhawat said since the case is pending in the Supreme Court, they were not able to take any decision. Responding to this, KCR said the government would withdraw its petition if the tribunal is constituted.

The CM wanted the terms of reference of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT-2) should be made in accordance with the AP State Reorganisation Act 2014 under Section 89, and allocation of water to projects should be done accordingly.

In this context, he brought to notice a law principle that river water should be diverted within the river basins, as well as the Union Ministry’s guidelines that it is only after fulfilling the needs of regions within a river basin, should surplus water, if any, be diverted. Against this background, the AP state government has no right to divert the Krishna waters outside the basin, he said.

KCR again clarified that all the projects continued in Telangana are not new projects but were the projects started under the united AP state. The projects are being constructed in accordance with the Telangana State’s government rightful share of 967.94 TMC of the Godavari water.

On the Union Minister’s request for DPRs of the project, he said that details of all the projects are in public domain and there was no secrecy about them. Since there were some minor changes made to the projects, there was some delay in submitting the DPRs, he said, adding that there was no problem in submitting the DPRs.

As per the Godavari water Disputes Tribunal Award, the entire water flowing under the then unified Andhra Pradesh’s jurisdiction in Godavari can be utilised and if Andhra has any objections, it can approach the Tribunal under the 1956 Act. Responding to this, Shekhawat said if both states give letters, the Godavari Tribunal would be constituted.

The CM said if the Centre comes forward to solve the river water disputes between the two states through talks, the Telangana government is ready. But before that water allocations should be made, limits should be fixed so that the water boards would work efficiently.

–IANS

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