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All-party meet on Chitravathi project

As the dispute over controversial Chitravathi project in Karnataka threatens to snowball into a political stand-off, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has convened an all-party meeting here today to firm up an unified stand on the issue.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2003 15:53 IST

As the dispute over controversial Chitravathi project in Karnataka threatens to snowball into a political stand-off, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has convened an all-party meeting here on Saturday to firm up an unified stand on the issue.

With Karnataka defying the Centre's order and vowing to go ahead with construction of the project across Chitravathi river in Kolar district, the riparian states are set on a collision course amidst a war of words and frayed tempers.

While lower riparian Andhra Pradesh has dubbed the project as "illegal and violative of inter-state river water agreements" with disastrous consequences for the drought-hit Anantapur and Cuddapah districts, Karnataka has been contending that it was well within its rights to take up the project aimed at providing drinking water.

The all-party meeting here coincides with the visit of officials from Central Water Commission (CWC) to inspect the project site at Paragodu in Kolar district. The team is also likely to arrive here later in the evening for a meeting with irrigation officials.

The convening of the meeting reflects a change in the stand of the TDP government which had earlier rejected the demand for it made by the entire opposition including Congress, BJP and Left parties.

Naidu had, in the past, put the onus on Congress leaders, saying they should take the initiative in convincing their president Sonia Gandhi about the illegal nature of the project being taken up by the party's government in Karnataka.

First Published: Jun 14, 2003 15:53 IST