Bonhomie must continue

AuthorPublished: 27th May 2019  12:13 amUpdated: 26th May 2019  8:28 pm

At a time when inter-state disputes often turn into bitter confrontations and linger on for decades, Telangana has set an example in re-defining the relationship with the neighbouring states with a sense of pragmatism and conciliation. Be it the historic agreements with Maharashtra to end the decades old dispute over irrigation projects or extending the hand of friendship to Andhra Pradesh for resolution of pending issues in a give-and-take approach, the country’s youngest state has shown enormous maturity and set new benchmark in harmonious neighbourly relations. The bonhomie that marked the meeting between the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister-designate Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao and the message that emerged from it augurs well for the future of both the states. It was an example of how political sagacity, farsightedness and mutual accommodation drive the leaders to shed the baggage of the past and move on with a vision for a better future. Though Jagan was among those who had bitterly opposed the formation of separate Telangana state, the past events should not be allowed to cloud the future and it is time both the Telugu states worked together in an atmosphere of cordiality to fully realize their potential. By explaining how the two states could benefit if they can effectively utilize the waters of Godavari and Krishna rivers, KCR has set a new paradigm in inter-state cooperation for mutual benefit. The reality is that about 3,500 tmc of Godavari water is going into the sea unused every year. Telangana can utilize to a maximum extent of 800 tmc while the remaining can be harnessed by AP.

The Chief Minister’s assertion that his government would maintain cordial relations with neighbouring states sets the tone for the sibling states to usher in a new chapter of cooperation and resolve all the pending issues amicably. With the two leaders agreeing to convene a meeting of senior officers of both the States to discuss issues of mutual interest, the prospects of early resolution of the pending issues have brightened. It is pertinent to recall how KCR’s personal initiative had helped break a new ground with Maharashtra two years ago, paving the way for taking up key irrigation projects like Kaleshwaram. The agreement has ended the decades-long dispute between the combined AP and Maharashtra. The historic water pact was possible because of pragmatic approach to complete the long-pending projects. A similar policy can be adopted with AP so that both the sibling states can benefit from expeditious completion of projects. The painful reality is that irrigation projects in the combined Andhra Pradesh were deliberately designed in such a manner that they remained locked for decades in inter-state disputes and environmental hurdles.