AP, Telangana begin slugfest with tit-for-tat moves

AP students in Telangana would not benefit from reimbursement scheme

A series of tit-for-tat decisions by Andhra Pradesh and the newly formed Telangana are putting the states on collision course, hastening the much anticipated confrontation. 

In particular, the states have been getting perilously close to an acrimonious situation in water and power sharing and in implementing an education scheme.  Any modicum of cordiality between the two elected government seem to have evaporated faster with Telangana’s refusal to release 10 tmc of water from Krishna river to the Krishna delta region in Andhra Pradesh.

The decision to release water was originally taken by the high powered committee consisting of irrigation authorities from both the states to prevent water scarcity in the delta region covering Krishna and Guntur districts.  But Telangana chief secretary Aravind Reddy refused to oblige saying that the state government must give its nod. 

Adding fuel to the fire is another decision by the new state to refuse reimbursement of the fees of AP students enrolled in educational institutions in and around the twin city and in other parts of Telangana. 

The state instead decided to implement the reimbursement scheme, introduced by the late YSR for underprivileged students pursuing engineering courses in the undivided state, for Telangana students only. 

“We will be saving Rs 1,300 cr by not paying for AP students, which could be used to educate 60,000 more Telangana students,” Chief Minister KCR announced after an all party meeting a few days ago.

The students could be spared from trouble as Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu announced that the state would foot the bill for the fee waiver and also pending fees, but the residuary state has shown that it would not take things easily when Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu decided to scrap all power purchase agreements with distribution companies in Telangana and decided on Tuesday to use all 462 MW of power generated in AP for its own use. 

The AP government has written to the regulatory authority, the APERC to allow such a process, leading to a situation where both states will have to enter into new PPAs with the generating companies. 

The state reorganisation bill had made power allocation 53.89:46.11 in Telangana’s favour.  AP’s decision to disregard the provision of the reorganisation Act has left Telangana with a severe power crises since its inception earlier this month.  

Warning shots have already been fired by the Telangana government and legislators. “The AP state government must respect the allocation incorporated in the AP State Reorganization Act. They need to share power as they want to stay here in Hyderabad for 10 more years,” TRS MLC Sudhakar Reddy said. 

“If you do one we can do many,” Harish Rao said on Wednesday, slamming AP’s move to scrap the PPAs. “You need power to your homes and Assembly or not?”

“First they opposed Polavaram, now they refuse to release water to Krishna delta. They even skipped Chandrababu Naidu’s swearing in,” a senior TDP leader from Guntur district said on Wednesday.

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