‘Kaleshwaram taken up only after nod from other States’

Allocations made to A.P. based on illegally built projects in erstwhile State, says Minister

Agriculture Minister S. Niranjan Reddy on Friday reminded Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy that the latter’s Telangana counterpart K. Chandrasekhar Rao went ahead with construction of Kaleswaram project only after consulting and entering into agreements with Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh governments.

But, Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy never consulted nor took anyone into confidence while grounding the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (RLIS) unilaterally. It did not figure in the State bifurcation law, Mr. Reddy told a press conference on Friday.

He also reminded the Andhra Pradesh government that the Srisailam project was solely meant for hydel generation but Andhra Pradesh illegally used it for irrigation and drinking water needs. The water was carried to Rayalaseema in the name of drinking needs and Nellore for irrigation.

Mr. Reddy highlighted that the water allocation to Telangana in river Krishna from the combined share with AP should have actually been the other way round. With the river running over a length of 9,000 square miles in AP, the State was allocated 512 tmc ft while Telangana got only 299 tmc ft for 20,000 square miles.

The allocation to A.P. post-bifurcation was made on the basis of projects illegally constructed in erstwhile State. This was against the spirit of Bachawat Tribunal award, he said.

To divert water to Penna basin without meeting the requirements of Krishna was unjust and illegal. The AP government conspired to empty Srisailam dam by taking up construction of 300 metre wide canal. This was a big threat to water needs of Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda, Khammam and Rangareddy districts.

Mr. Reddy asked what was wrong with Telangana drawing water from Srisailam at a depth of 808 ft when AP could construct a canal for Pothireddypadu at 854 ft and carry water illegally for Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme at 800 ft.

The erstwhile Andhra Pradesh government took up power generation from Srisailam to release water for Krishna delta without any concern for drinking water requirements of Telangana. Water was released for delta even in drought for seven years.

He sought allocation of water between Telangana and A.P. by fixing a time frame for award by Brijesh Kumar Tribunal. It was no use on the part of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister to write letter to Prime Minister seeking his intervention.

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