Home / Politics / Policy /  Fresh trouble between AP and Telangana over irrigation projects on Krishna, Godavari

Hyderabad: Fresh trouble seems to be brewing between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, with the Andhra Pradesh cabinet, led by chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, passing a resolution, seeking the Centre’s intervention in irrigation projects being taken up by Telangana on Godavari and Krishna rivers.

Telangana chief minister K. Chandrashekar Rao, for his part, vowed to complete the projects come what may, “thunderbolts, lightening, or earthquakes".

Naidu accused Telangana of violating the provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act by constructing new projects on the two rivers flowing through the Telugu-speaking states. The AP Reorganisation Act is the framework according to which Telangana was split from the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh.

Naidu told a press conference in Vijayawada on Monday that any water project can be taken up by Andhra Pradesh or Telangana only after approval from the river boards for Godavari and Krishna. He added that his government would file a complaint with the Union government to bring pressure on Telangana to comply with the provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act.

The Godavari River Management Board and Krishna River Management Board have been formed to ensure harmony in water sharing between the two states. Both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have large populations engaged in agriculture and water supply is a sticky political issue.

A Union government-appointed apex council, headed by the Union water resources minister, will oversee both the river water boards. Among its functions, the council is responsible for “planning and approval of proposals for construction of new projects, if any, based on Godavari or Krishna river water, after getting the proposal appraised and recommended by the river management boards and by the Central Water Commission, wherever required", according to the Act.

The boards, for their part, are responsible for evaluating any proposal for construction of new projects on Godavari or Krishna rivers and giving technical clearance after ensuring those projects don’t violate water sharing pacts overseen by water tribunals.

Chandrashekar Rao, who, according to a New Indian Express report in December, opposes the jurisdiction of Krishna River Management Board, said Telangana would utilize its quota of 1,300 tmcft of water by completing all proposed projects on Krishna and Godavari.

Rao laid the foundation for Kaleshwaram lift irrigation project in Karimnagar that will lift 300 tmcft from Godavari river. After coming to power, the Telangana government has redesigned irrigation projects in the state to achieve its target of irrigating 10 million acres of the drought-hit state.

It has embarked on projects such as Palamuru-Rangareddy, Dindi lift irrigation and Kalwakurthy lift irrigation.

Telangana’s irrigation minister T. Harish Rao, in a statement on Tuesday, accused the Andhra Pradesh government of trying to ensnare Telangana’s irrigation projects in litigation. “The entire effort of the AP government is to ensure that litigation will continue for years on end and effectively stop Telangana’s plan to provide irrigation to its farmers," he said.

The dissonance between the two states is not new.

Ever since the creation of Telangana in June 2014, the two states have been at loggerheads with each other over power generation and sharing of Krishna river water.

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