Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao, on 10 August, slammed the Centre for following faulty policies and the Andhra Pradesh government for creating unnecessary fuss over Telangana’s irrigation projects.
Coming down heavily on the Andhra government, KCR said Telangana would give a befitting answer in the upcoming Apex Council meeting. “I have extended a friendly hand to the Andhra Pradesh government and told them that both states should construct projects based on the needs of the people. We have proposed that both states should work towards providing water to farmers in our respective states. We have also told them that the water going to the sea should be diverted to the farmers and towards that goal, an action plan should be implemented. Yet, the AP government has unnecessarily poked us and picked up a fight. It lodged baseless allegations and complaints without any truth,” he said.
In the Apex Council meeting, facts about the projects being constructed in Telangana with complete data will be placed before the council and strong arguments will be put forth, KCR said. He held a meeting with officials of the irrigation department at Pragathi Bhavan here on 10 August to finalise the strategy to be implemented at the council meeting.
KCR also criticised the Centre’s attitude towards Telangana and alleged it was raising unnecessary objections over releasing water from Srisailam to Nagarjuna Sagar. “Other projects should get water only after the Nagarjuna Sagar project is filled up. In fact, Srisailam is not an irrigation project but a hydroelectric project. Without taking these facts into consideration, the Centre raising objections is not proper.”
He continued, “In Godavari, Krishna basins, projects are constructed based on the state’s rights. The projects, which are being constructed now, were sanctioned at the time of the formation of the state. Water allocations were made for these projects. Permissions from all the institutions concerned, including the Centre Water Commission, were given. About Rs. 23,000 crore funds were already spent and 31,500 acres of land acquired. After so much progress, calling them new projects is absurd, meaningless and foolish.”
He claimed that though these projects were sanctioned under the united AP state, they have not been completed. Moreover, with less water, high ayucut was proposed and the irrigation needs could never be fulfilled. “Designs of the majority of these projects were not done keeping in view the needs and interests of Telangana. Hence, after the formation of Telangana we have embarked on redesigning and constructing the projects based on the share of water, needs, and rights of the state.”
KCR declared that Pranahita-Chevella project was redesigned to construct Kaleswaram project, Kanthanapally redesigned to construct Sammakka Sagar, Rajiv Sagar, Indira Sagar redesigned to construct Sitarama Project, and Dummugudem redesigned to construct Sithamma Sagar.
Details regarding when these projects were sanctioned, the permissions given, and the amount spent on these projects when the state was formed should be made public at the Apex Council meeting, KCR said, adding, “In the first Apex Council meeting held in the past, the AP government had raised objections over the Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme. The Telangana government had mentioned the Machumarri project taken up by the AP government. Then it was decided that both the projects would continue. It is not proper for AP to raise the same matter now.”
KCR claimed that Telangana’s irrigation sector had faced injustice from the beginning. “Nagarjuna Sagar, which was to be constructed at Yeleswaram, was built 17 km away. Due to the formation of a united AP state, upper Krishna, Tungabhadra, and Bhima projects have gone forever. The Bachawat Tribunal itself made it clear that Telangana is facing injustices in the allocation of water.
The Tribunal realised that the then united AP while arguing for its share of water did not take Telangana into consideration. This is the reason why the Bachawat tribunal made a special allocation for Telangana. Projects like Nettempadu, Kaluwakurty, Bhima, and Koill Sagar, including Jurala, were completed after the formation of the state. Since MLAs from Andhra region have blasted the pipes of RDS with bombs, the water, which was supposed to come to Telangana, did not reach us. To stabilise the RDS Ayucut, after spending a lot of money, Tummilla Lift was constructed,” KCR said.
In fact, Telangana needs more water, KCR claimed. “We need to get 1,000 additional TMC in Godavari surplus water. Godavari has more catchment areas in Telangana. The river covers more areas in our state. We also need more water. Of the 2,000 TMC that goes into the sea, Telangana should at least be allocated 1,000 TMC more,” the CM said.