Expressing his strong resolve to protect Telangana’s rightful share of water in the Krishna and Godavari rivers, Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Thursday said the government was not ready to lose even a single drop of water that belonged to the State, which was discriminated in the field of irrigation during the rule of combined Andhra Pradesh.
A decision in this regard was taken at a review meeting at Pragathi Bhavan here on the letter written by Union Jal Shakti Secretary UP Singh seeking the Telangana government’s opinion about the proposed Apex Council meeting to sort out river water disputes between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on August 5.
The high-level meeting opined that the date suggested by the Jal Shakti Ministry for the Apex Council meeting coincides with many of the government engagements that had already been scheduled. It was decided to seek postponement to some other date probably after Independence Day celebrations, that too after August 20. It was also decided that the Chief Secretary will be writing a letter to the Ministry seeking deferment of the date.
The meeting also expressed dissatisfaction over the part played by the Ministry in resolving the water disputes between the Telugu States. It was felt that the Centre, which was supposed to oversee the distribution of equitable water shares between the States, had failed to maintain that tradition. While maintaining that the Centre could have played a positive role in distributing the river water between States, the meeting felt that in case of disputes, the tribunal must come into the picture.
The Telangana government had been urging the Centre to hand over the pre-existing inter-State disputes between the Telugu State to the tribunal as per Section 13 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act of 2014, but the Ministry had neglected its demand. The high-level meeting, which strongly condemned the indifferent attitude of the Centre, said that the Union government must purge such attitude which was costing both the States dearly.
The meeting unanimously opined that prolonged strife over water between two neighbouring States was not good and it was better if the disputes were resolved legally under the jurisdiction of the tribunal. It was also resolved that priority must be given in completing projects such as Palamuru-Rangareddy and Dindi lift irrigation schemes that would help districts such as Mahabubnagar, Rangareddy and Nalgonda, which were the worst-affected areas during combined rule.
The meeting decided to completely utilise Telangana’s legitimate share in the Krishna and Godavari waters by completing projects on a war footing without any compromise on the State’s share.
State Planning Board Vice-Chairman B Vinod Kumar, Rythu Bandhu Samithi president Palla Rajeshwar Reddy, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Chief Adviser Rajiv Sharma, Irrigation Advisor SK Joshi, CMO senior officers Narsing Rao, Smitha Sabharwal, Irrigation Principal Secretary Rajat Kumar, CMO OSD Sridhar Rao Deshpande, representatives of the Telangana Retired Engineers Association M Shyamsunder Reddy, Venkata Ramarao, Ramakrishna Reddy, Damodar Reddy, Gopal Reddy, Chief Engineers Nagender Rao, Narasimha and government counsel in Supreme Court Ravinder Rao and others participated in the meeting.