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Press Trust of India, PTI
Hyderabad, June 02, 2003
In a continued war of words over river water sharing, Andhra Pradesh today accused neighbouring Karnataka of "deliberately misleading" the people on its controversial Chitravathi project and vowed to continue the "legal and political battle" to protect the state's interests. At a press conference here, Andhra Pradesh Major Irrigation Minister K Srihari charged the upper riparian Karnataka of going ahead with the project despite the Centre's clear directions to halt works.

The project, being constructed over Chitravathi river near Paragodu in Kolar district, amounted to `blatant violation' of the inter-state agreements and disregarding the interests of lower riparian Andhra Pradesh, he said.

In a point-by-point rebuttal to the points raised by Karnataka's Water Resources Minister H K Patil yesterday, Srihari termed as `far from truth' Karnataka's claim that Central Water Commission (CWC) had cleared the project and that it was not bound by the 1892 and 1933 agreements by the then princely states of Madras and Mysore.

While Karnataka contended that Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) had superceded the earlier inter-state agreements, Srihari, quoting the recent order by the Union Water Resources Ministry, said the KWDT is applicable only to Krishna basin projects and not the Pennar basin under which the Chitravathi project falls.

Releasing copies of the Centre's order asking Karnataka not to go ahead with the project, he sought to nail the neighbouring state's claim that it had not received any direction from the Union Government. More