KCR asks officials to take Centre to task at Apex Council meet

Hyderabad: Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao has asked officials to take the Centre to task during the Apex Council meeting scheduled on October 6 over the sharing of Krishna and Godavari river waters between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Stating that the Centre is doing nothing, he directed the officials to be firm in demanding that there should be absolute clarity on the allocation of water to Telangana.

KCR, as the Chief Minister is popularly known, the officials to prepare all arguments in support of the just demands of Telangana on the matter.

The Chief Minister has convened a high-level meeting with the Water Resources Department officials on Thursday to discuss on the strategy to be adapted at the Apex Council meeting.

He instructed the officials concerned to come with complete data and information and issues to be placed before the Central government.

“Andhra Pradesh state is intentionally creating disputes on the River water sharing. We have to give a befitting reply to the AP State’s arguments at the Apex Council meeting. Give an absolute clarity on issues so that the AP government will not raise the issues again in future,” a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office quoted him as saying.

“Take the opportunity to expose the seven years delay caused by the Centre and its inactive role on the matter. Oppose and reject the attempts made to undermine the rights of Telangana people. Utilise the Apex Council meeting to tell the whole country about the facts,” KCR said.

He pointed out that under the States Bifurcation Acts, whenever a new State is formed, it should be allocated its water share.

“The Telangana State was formed on June 2, 2014 and we wrote a letter to the Prime Minister on June 14, 2014 requesting for the allocation of water to the Telangana State. We also stated that water could be allocated by constituting a Special tribunal under section (3) of the Inter State River Water Disputes Act 1956 or through the existing Tribunal. We also wanted the allocation of water should be done between the Telangana State and AP or among the river basin states. Even after seven years, there was no response for the letter written to the PM. The Centre kept mum on the issue. Moreover, they are giving a picture that they were doing something by convening Apex Council meetings. But in reality, the Centre is not doing anything,” he said.

The Apex Council meet has been postponed twice. It was last scheduled on August 25 but was postponed as Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, tested positive for Covid-19.

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The minister is the Chairman of Apex Council formed under Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. The chief ministers of the Telugu states are members of the Council.

The meeting assumed significance in view of the objections raised by Telangana over Andhra Pradesh going ahead with the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (RLIS) across Krishna river. Telangana has been stating that the project would adversely affect its interests.

Andhra Pradesh, on the other hand, had raised objections to six irrigation projects or schemes, including the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme, taken up by Telangana on the Godavari river.

KCR had earlier stated that the state will be taking a tough stand over Andhra Pradesh’s objections to the projects across Krishna and Godavari rivers while seeking a halt to the RLIS.

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He had asked the officials to take Andhra government to task for illegally utilising water from Godavari and Krishna rivers in contravention of the Bachawat Tribunal Award.

The Apex Council meeting was earlier scheduled on August 5 but was postponed on the request of the Telangana government.

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