‘If Andhra does not stop...’: KCR during meet on Krishna water sharing
The Telangana government on Tuesday threatened to construct a new project across the Krishna river on the foreshore of Srisailam reservoir if Andhra Pradesh goes ahead with the construction of Rayalaseema lift irrigation project on the river.
Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao made it clear at the apex council meeting convened by Union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat through video conference in which Andhra Pradesh chief minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy participated.
KCR accused the Andhra Pradesh government of unilaterally deciding to construct Rayalaseema lift irrigation project on Srisailam reservoir to draw an additional three tmc (thousand million cubic feet) of water from Krishna river.
“If Andhra Pradesh does not stop the Rayalaseema lift scheme, we, too, will be compelled to construct a new barrage between Alampur-Pedda Marur in Jogulamba Gadwal district to lift three tmc of water from Krishna river,” KCR told the Union minister at the meeting.
He said during the combined Andhra Pradesh regime, great injustice was done to Telangana in river water sharing. “Even after bifurcation, if Andhra Pradesh behaves irresponsibly and tries to loot Krishna waters according to its whims and fancies, we will not tolerate. We can also go to any extent to protect the interests of our state,” KCR said.
He said the Telangana government had written to the Centre in 2014 itself seeking constitution of a fresh tribunal to decide water sharing between Telangana and Andhra in the wake of bifurcation. “Since there was no response from the Centre, we had to approach the Supreme Court seeking legitimate share to the state in Krishna waters,” he pointed out.
While agreeing to the demand of Telangana for a fresh tribunal, Shekawat, however, said no decision could be taken as the issue was before the Supreme Court. KCR said if the Centre agreed to constitute the tribunal, his government would withdraw the petition in the SC.
The Telangana chief minister demanded that the Centre allocate river water to the two states project-wise and opposed Andhra Pradesh government’s move to divert Krishna water to Pennar basin. “Even the Krishna river management board also agreed to this principle,” he said.
Meanwhile, Shekawat told the reporters in New Delhi that both the Telugu states had agreed to submit to the union government the detailed project reports (DPRs) of all the new irrigation projects they had taken up in the last six years after bifurcation of states.
He said the two states had also agreed to shift the Krishna River Management Board’s office to Vijayawada from Hyderabad. The Centre will soon decide the purview of the two river boards, he said.