Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & MP N. Uttam Kumar Reddy alleged that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao was directly helping Andhra Pradesh complete the expansion of Pothyreddypadu Head Regulator and start new Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme which would deprive Telangana of 6.3 TMC of Krishna Water.
He was addressing a press conference through Zoom App which was also shared on social media platform Facebook on Friday. Congress Legislature Party leader Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka, AICC Secretaries A. Sampath Kumar and Vamshichand Reddy and TPCC Krishna Nadi Parirakshana Samithi Convener Rammohan Reddy were also present.
Reddy said that the two projects being pursed by the AP Govt would badly hit the farmers of South Telangana and the drinking water supply in Hyderabad. He said that the Andhra Pradesh has already called for the tenders for construction of Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme with a capacity to draw about 3 TMC per day from the bottom of the reservoir at +797 ft and enhance the diversion capacity at Pothireddypadu Head Regulator to more than 80,000 cusecs. This will result in Telangana losing 6.3 TMC of water every day.
“Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s Govt has spent over Rs. 1 lakh crore which was borrowed from banks and other financial institutions at huge interest rates to construct Kaleshwaram Project to draw just 2 TMC of water. It also involves an additional annual cost of nearly Rs. 12,000 crore towards interest on loans, electricity, maintenance, manpower, etc., CM KCR has mortgaged the future of Telangana by taking up this project. However, he is totally silent over losing 6.3 TMC of Krishna River water to Andhra Pradesh which is coming to the State at free of cost through gravity,” he said.
Uttam alleged that AP CM Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and CM KCR were good friends and the latter even funded YSRCP in the last Assembly elections. CM KCR and Jagan interacts very frequently and they met several times in the past. “KCR must answer as to why he is helping the AP Govt take away Telangana’s share in Krishna water. His silence is raising serious suspicions of a secret deal. There will be serious consequences if AP goes ahead with its plans. Undivided Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda and many parts of Ranga Reddy district will go dry and Hyderabad will face a severe shortage of drinking water,” he said.
The TPCC Chief pointed out that CM KCR had objected to the meeting of Apex Council scheduled to be held on August 5 on the grounds that he was having the Cabinet meeting. Referring to a letter written by the Union Ministry for Water Resources, he said that the Union Ministry wanted the meeting through a video-conference at any time which was convenient to CM KCR to discuss the Pothyreddypadu and RLIS issues. However, KCR wanted this meeting to be postponed for post-August 20. The Chief Minister had time to discuss the design of a new Secretariat building for which is wasting over Rs. 400 crore of public money just to satisfy his false prestige. But he had no time to protect the interest of Telangana’s farmers, he said.
“Why CM KCR did not prepone the Cabinet Meeting to 4th August or postpone it 6th August so as to facilitate the meeting of Apex Council on 5th August? He deliberately got the meeting postponed to help the AP Govt complete the tender process for both the projects. Should we act before the tender process or wait for the completion of the entire process?” he asked.
Referring to the Special Leave Petition filed by the Telangana Government in the Supreme Court, Uttam alleged CM KCR was trying to create new complications to help the AP Govt expand Pothyreddypadu Head Regulator and construct RLIS. “This is a straight fight between AP and TS Govt and our intention should be to stop Andhra Pradesh from taking away 6.3 TMC of Krishna Water. However, TS Govt, in its Special Leave Petition, has made Karnataka Govt as the first respondent, Maharashtra Govt the second respondent and Andhra Pradesh Govt as the third respondent. This is nothing but the dilution of the main issue and diversion of attention from AP’s new projects. This was done deliberately so as to delay the legal process which will help AP Govt complete both the projects as per their schedule,” he alleged.
Reddy said it would have been ideal if KCR would’ve participated in the Apex Council meeting and then approached the Supreme Court with a favourable decision. However, TS Govt approached the Supreme court only as an eyewash. He said TRS leaders were trying to divert people’s attention by narrating the tales of how Telangana was deprived of its share in river waters. He said that the Congress party granted statehood for Telangana to ensure that it does not face any injustices in the future. He said it was the responsibility of TRS Govt to protect whatever existed as on June 2, 2014.
“KCR remained silent on the issue even when AP CM Jagan made an announcement in December 2018 on the expansion of Pothyreddypadu Head Regulator although they had several meetings after that announcement. The orders sanctioning money for the project was issued about four months ago. It was only after Congress party raised the issue, TRS Govt started acting on it. Even the Apex Council meeting was convened after I spoke to the Union Minister for Water Resources,” he said.
“We will expose KCR. I will implead in the case in the Supreme Court as I was elected as MLA for 5 times and MP this time from Nalgonda, which comes under the ayacut of Nagarjuna Sagar. Congress party will protect the interest of farmers in South Telangana. CM KCR must resign if AP succeeds in constructing the new projects,” he demanded.
He also condemned the decision to cut down the withdrawal of water from 2 TMC to 1 TMC from Krishna River in Nagarjunasagar. He said these orders clearly indicate that KCR Govt was helping the AP Govt in their projects.
Speaking on the issue, Bhatti Vikarmarka said the Pothyreddypadu Head Regulator expansion and RLIS would turn many districts of Telangana into a desert. He said that TRS Govt arrested Congress leaders when they tried to visit the irrigation projects on Krishna River.