Forum for Utilisation of Godavari Waters, in association with Dr Marri Channa Reddy Memorial Trust, is organising a one-day symposium on “Irrigation and Water Security in Telangana: Critical Review of Opportunities and Challenges”, on Saturday at the CESS Auditorium in the Nizamia Observatory Campus in Begumpet. May 14 incidentally marks the 18th anniversary of the National Seminar that was organised by the Trust in 1998.
Trust chairman Marri Shashidhar Reddy, in a pressnote, stated that late Dr Marri Channa Reddy had a vision for the development of Telangana with the utilisation of Godavari Water as a major option, about which he was the first leader to talk about going back to 1986. During his second stint as Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh in 1989, he had initiated some steps for this but he remained in office only for one year. After his demise in 1996, the Dr M. Channa Reddy Memorial Trust (MCRMT) was set up to work for the issues that were close to his heart, he added.
With a view to translate his vision for utilisation of Godavari waters, the Trust organised a “National Seminar on Utilisation of Godavari Waters” on May 14, 1998 and a decision was taken to set up the Forum for Utilisation of Godavari Waters (FUGW) to take up the efforts for generation of informed public opinion, which is essential for political and administrative will to be crystallized. “Our first objective then was to see that utilisation of Godavari waters becomes a part of the political agenda of all political parties. We succeeded in making this subject a part of their election manifestos as early as 1999”.
Shashidhar Reddy said with the seeds for the agitation for a separate Telangana State sown in the year 2000, it slowly started picking up momentum. The discussion and debate on the development of Telangana took a back seat, in line with the political objectives of a few. However, the “Jala Yagnam” of the Congress party after 2004 in the undivided AP State and the much hype created by the recent “Irrigation Presentation” of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, utilisation of Godavari waters has once again been brought into sharp public focus”, he said.
“In this scenario, we have now decided to revive this Forum to contribute to the realisation of the irrigation potential in an appropriate manner through consultations.Given the current situation of serious water crisis, arising out of global warming and climate change, it is also imperative to look beyond. Water Security is intertwined with food security as a major issue, especially from the point of view of equity and social justice. We have invited experts, academics, intellectuals besides representatives of farmers’ organisations affiliated to different political parties for the symposium”, Shashidhar Reddy added. (NSS)