Collision course

It is unfortunate that the two newly formed states of Telangana and Seemandhra are on a collision course on a number of issues, making their relations tense and even confrontationist.

It is as if the quake of separation is continuing in many aftershocks, with fault lines gaping wider and creating more areas of discord.

While some of the issues are invented, others which were thought to have been settled, have been reopened. What started as a war of statements on both sides has now deteriorated into a chain of hostile actions and reactions and threats of more serious repercussions, after new governments came to power in both states.

It is also very unfortunate that the first fire on many issues came from the Telangana side and the atmosphere has now been badly vitiated.

After an early row over allotment of employees to the secretariats of the two states, more issues relating the sharing of water and power and education of Andhra students in Telangana have come to the surface.

Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhara Rao had said that employees of the Andhra region placed in the Telangana cadre would not be allowed to work in the state’s offices.

Telangana has refused to release water from the Krishna river to the water-starved areas in Seemandhra, though an agreement had been reached earlier to release the water. It has also decided to limit the benefits of a fee reimbursement scheme to only students from the state, denying it to students from Andhra.

In retaliation Seemandhra decided to scrap power purchase agreements with companies in Telangana, which means stoppage of power to the state. All these measures affect the lives of common people like farmers, power consumers and students.

There are established procedures for dividing assets and liabilities, and even employees, among separating states. The committees which were told to undertake this task have made their recommendation and decisions.

The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act has also made provisions for sharing of resources and resolving issues that come up in the wake of bifurcation. The governments of both states and the leaders should adhere to these norms and settle their differences amicably in the interest of the people of both states.

The bad blood that was created before the separation should not be allowed to continue. Handling of issues emotionally or from a narrow political angle will only complicate and aggravate them. The two states are complementary and should live like good neighbours.

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