At a time when Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are engaged in a bitter water war, AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday declared that his government wants to maintain cordial relations with all its neighbours.
He said AP wants to maintain cordial relations as well as draw its rightful share of water from the common rivers in the interest of farmers.
“Water issue should not be politicised as farmers of all the regions are the same. Of late, the water issue has come to the fore and is widely debated in media,” said Reddy, commemorating his father and late CM Y.S. Rajasekhar Reddy’s 72nd birth anniversary as ‘Farmers’ Day’.
The Chief Minister said AP has no intention to join issue with any state or interfere in their internal affairs even as he noted that some Telangana legislators are talking excessively of late.
“When the state was united, the allocations of Krishna waters to the three regions of Rayalaseema, coastal Andhra and Telangana were clearly earmarked and it was known to all since decades,” said Reddy.
Likewise, he noted that after the state was bifurcated there was a tripartite agreement signed by the Centre, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on June 19, 2015 with clear earmarking of river water allocations.
According to the CM, Pothireddypadu cannot receive water unless the water level at Srisailam reservoir rises to its full capacity of 885 ft and observed that that level was hardly achieved for 20 to 25 days in the past 20 years, discounting the past two years.
“When we cannot draw water unless the level reaches 881 feet in Telangana, Palamuru Ranga Reddy, Dindi and Kalwakurthi projects are drawing water even when the water level is 800 feet and are even generating hydel power at 796 feet,” the CM alleged.
Reddy questioned that when the neighbouring state could withdraw water at 800 ft level, what is wrong if AP also does the same by claiming its rightful share of water through lift.
He trained his guns on opposition leader and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo Nara Chandrababu Naidu and questioned him as to why he allegedly did not open his mouth during his term as CM when Telangana started Palamuru Ranga Reddy, Dindi and other projects.
As part of Rythu Dinosthavam (Farmers’ Day), Reddy inaugurated an integrated agri lab at Rayadurgam market yard and later laid the foundation stone for development projects worth Rs 1,570 crore which are expected to benefit the farmers.
He also inaugurated a newly-built Rythu Bharosa Kendram at Udegolam village. Later, as part of his visit to Kadapa district, the CM laid the foundation stone for a water grid, sports complex and cricket stadium in an effort to groom Pulivendula into a model town.
“Government is committed to developing Pulivendula as a model town and thus initiated various works at a cost of Rs 630 crore, and Rs 154 crore was allocated for constructing roads, drainage system and providing drinking water facility in Jagananna mega colonies,” said Reddy.
Similarly, the government is also laying a four-lane road and setting up a skill development center at a cost of Rs 30 crore.
“No one had cared for the development of Pulivendula after the demise of Rajashekar Reddy and in the current government many development works have been initiated,” he asserted.
Other initiatives in Pulivendula include a city central at a cost of Rs 76 crore, a ring road with Rs 98 crore funds and Rs 144 crore more on municipal works, including a digital library, meditation hall, and a botanical garden.
The water grid project will provide drinking water to 109 village panchayats and equip 44,000 houses with water tap connections.