Hyderabad: Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao will hold a crucial meeting with his Andhra Pradesh counterpart, YS Jaganmohan Reddy, to sort out issues over sharing of river water and assets of undivided Andhra Pradesh, among others, on June 28. This will be the first meeting of the two Chief Ministers, nearly three years after the meeting between Chandrashekhar Rao and his then counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu on issues plaguing the two States.
The meeting is likely to be followed by a meeting of the Chief Secretaries and other officials of the two States on July 3.
Chandrashekhar Rao took the initiative to establish cordial relations between the two States and extended a friendly hand to Jaganmohan Reddy soon after the latter won the Assembly election and was sworn in Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister. The two maintained friendly relations and vowed to end the contentious issues between the two Telugu-speaking States.
While Chandrashekhar Rao attended the swearing-in ceremony of Jagan Mohan Reddy, the latter recently attended the inaugural of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS) following an invitation from Chandrashekhar Rao. The duo held informal discussions on various issues between the two States and decided to hold an official meeting to resolve them, when Chandrashekhar Rao called on Jagan to invite him for the inauguration of KLIS.
Focus on water sharing
Official sources said the meeting will mainly focus on resolving water sharing disputes between the two States. Chandrashekhar Rao is learnt to have asked the irrigation officials to submit a report on optimum utilisation of river water being drained into the sea year after year. The proposals are likely to be shared with the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister.
The two Chief Ministers are likely to discuss construction of new irrigation projects to tap the resources of Godavari and Krishna rivers along with their tributaries for supply of water for irrigation, drinking purposes and industrial uses. The proposal to divert excess Godavari waters to Krishna via Srisailam and the construction of some more lift projects on the two rivers with mutual consent, are also expected to be discussed. They are likely to come to an understanding on use of telemetry system on Krishna River to measure water usage which was ignored by the previous Telugu Desam Party government and also attempt to find final solutions amicably to end water wars between the two States.
The Chief Ministers are also learnt to have decided to discuss issues arising out of the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in 2014, which remained unresolved between the two Telugu-speaking States. Assets worth Rs 1.97 lakh crore related to government companies, corporations and other institutions, listed under Schedules IX and X of AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, are yet to be distributed between the two States. Among other pending issues between the States are allotment of power utility employees.
Though a meeting between senior officials of both the States was scheduled to be held on June 24, it was postponed due to the district collectors conference held by the Andhra Pradesh government in Amaravati on the same day. Hence, the Chief Secretaries of the two States alongwith senior officials is expected to be held on July 3, to take forward the decisions taken during the meeting of the Chief Ministers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, sources said.