AP opposes national status proposal for Kaleshwaram

KCR and Jagan at the inaugural of Kaleshwaram project in Telangana

The Andhra Pradesh government has appealed to the Supreme Court to direct the centre not to grant national project status to Kaleshwaram constructed by the Telangana government, as it is detrimental to the interests of farmers of the state.

This plea was made by L Premchandra Reddy, member-secretary of the AP Advisory Committee, through an additional counter-affidavit in connection with a case pertaining to implementation of provisions of AP Reorganization Act. With this, the initial bonhomie between Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and his counterpart Y S Jaganmohan Reddy seems to have ended.

The initial euphoria was such that Jagan even agreed to build a 400 km long canal linking Godavari with Krishna on Telangana’s geographical area, with AP’s money. Jagan even attended the June 20 inaugural of the Kaleswaram project, along with the then Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The AP government argued that the Telangana’s government had violated the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal Award and AP Reorganization Act in taking up projects for utilizing 450 tmc of Godavari waters.

“In the name of re-engineering, the Telangana government has taken up Kaleshwaram project (in place of original Pranahita-Chevella project) to utilize 225 tmc of Godavari waters. This is a new project, with a complete change in the scope of the original project. Despite several objections, the Central Water Commission gave the clearance to the project in June 2018,” the affidavit said.

The Andhra Pradesh government also opposed the interlocutory petition of Telangana in the Supreme Court challenging the construction of Polavaram project on Godavari River. It argued that as per the AP Reorganization Act, Polavaram is a national project and Telangana is deemed to have given its consent for it. AP said that Polavaram will not result in any submergence in Telangana, as all the seven blocks in Telangana earmarked for submergence have been merged with the AP.

Telangana strongly objected to the affidavit filed by AP government in the Supreme Court. It said that the project is well within the quota of 954 tmc of Godavari waters allocated by the tribunal. The flows to AP will not be affected, as most of the water comes from Sabari, Indravathi and Sileru tributaries.

With regard to Telangana's affidavit on Polavaram, it was said that the state wanted clarity on the possibility of submergence of Bhadrachalam and surrounding areas in Godavari, once Polavaram is completed.

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