At a time when inter-State river water sharing often turns into bitter political battles that linger on for generations, the Telugu States of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have set an example for the rest of the country on resolution of water disputes in a cordial atmosphere. The new template has demonstrated that the maturity and foresight of political leadership can find solutions to what might seem intractable problems. As Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao rightly put it, the spirit of cordiality and brotherhood must guide the destiny of the two States. It is time to offload the bitter baggage of the past and embrace the new spirit of cooperation for the benefit of the people of both the States. Thanks to Chandrashekhar Rao’s initiative and the ready support from his AP counterpart YS Jaganmohan Reddy, the teams of engineers from the two States are working on a joint strategy to divert water from the Godavari to Srisailam reservoir across Krishna to provide irrigation and drinking water facility to some of the most backward areas of both the States. This will usher in a new era of prosperity and transform the lives of the people. The fact that nearly 3,000 TMC of Godavari water goes waste into the sea every year must serve as a call for action to harness the waters for the benefit of the parched regions. Running around courts and tribunals in the fight over water share will not help matters.
The linking of Godavari with Krishna basin holds the potential to completely transform the perennially drought-prone Rayalaseema region, turning it into what Chandrashekhar Rao called as ‘Ratnalaseema’. Harnessing the mighty Godavari alone will solve the problems of the parched region. It is commendable that the two Chief Ministers have started efforts in this direction in right earnest. No problem is intractable if addressed in an atmosphere of conciliation, mutual respect and a spirit of give-and-take. The extraordinary warmth and bonhomie between the two leaders augur well for the future of the two States. The obstructionist and hostile attitude of Jagan’s predecessor N Chandrababu Naidu had created problems for Telangana. Now, there is a new sense of hope that the pending inter-State issues can be resolved in an amicable manner. It is in the interest of the people of the two States that the leadership should show astuteness, maturity, empathy and fairness in resolving the pending issues. 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, Telangana has shown enormous maturity and set a new benchmark in harmonious neighbourly relations.