Maharashtra Government has lodged a strong protest with the Prime Minister against Andhra Pradesh for creating a law and order situation in Maharashtra over construction of a barrage on the river Godawari.
On Wednesday, Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh led an all-party delegation to New Delhi to seek an audience with Manmohan Singh.
Later, Deshmukh told media that AP’s stand was weak and hence “the high court too ruled against them.” He said the neighbouring state should wait for the Supreme Court’s verdict to be delivered next week.
Last week, some AP legislators and their hundreds of supporters had visited the barrage site – 83 km from Nanded – to stage violent protests against the construction activity. The Maharashtra police resorted to lathicharge to control the agitation.
Deshmukh said Maharashtra has already agreed to decrease the barrage capacity to 1.09TMC from 2.7TMC. "The project will supply drinking water to 58 villages in Maharashtra and will irrigate about 8,000 hectares of farm land in backward Marathwada," he said. "This is not a dam but just a barrage."
Following a complaint from AP Government, the Union Minister for Water Resources Saifuddin Soz had last week written a letter to Deshmukh asking him to stop work immediately.
But the State Government insisted that the Supreme Court had twice dismissed AP’s request for stay on construction. "It’s entirely legal and one should not politicize the issue,” said CM.
CM said Maharashtra had never created any hurdles in AP’s dam projects on the river Godawari. “We have always been generous in case of projects like Shriramsagar (Pochampad) even if it leaves the river in Maharashtra dry denying it an allotted share of water."