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Andhra PradeshTelangana official questions AP for dual standards during KRMB team's RLIS visit

Telangana official questions AP for dual standards during KRMB team’s RLIS visit

Published: 14th Aug 2021 9:05 pm

Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh did exactly what it has opposed during inspection of Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (RLIS) site by a team of Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) on Wednesday as senior officials from its Water Resources Department (WRD) were present at the site.

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Following directions from the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the team from KRMB has finally carried out inspection at RLIS site after much dilly-dallying on Wednesday. But presence of AP WRD Engineer-in-Chief C Narayan Reddy and other officials left Telangana officials surprise.

AP has strongly opposed inclusion of P Devender Rao, Director of Krishna and Godavari Basin Organization (KGBO), Central Water Commission (CWC), in the KRMB team to conduct inspection on the grounds that he belongs to Telangana. But Narayan Reddy and other officials were present at the site when KRMB team was conducting the inspection.

“Why is AP resorting to dual standards?” asked a senior official from Telangana Irrigation and CAD department.

Since AP has raised objections over inclusion of Rao in the team, KRMB has re-constituted a team comprising officials from its Secretariat and CWC HCD Director Darpan Talwar instead of Rao with a direction to find out if there are any violations of directions of NGT proceedings in the matter.

Special Chief Secretary, Irrigation and CAD Department Dr. Rajat Kumar said that it is learnt that during the inspection, the Central team has been accompanied by the AP WRD Engineer-in-Chief as well as various Chief Engineers from AP and interacted exhaustively with the team.

In a letter to KRMB Chairman, he said: “It was reported in vernacular news daily that the AP Engineer-in-Chief has made a power point presentation on RLIS. Under such circumstances serious doubts are likely to arise about impartiality of the team report to be furnished by KRMB as action of permitting officers of one State may influence the report to be submitted by the team.”

Based on a complaint filed by Telangana State government, the NGT had directed KRMB to submit a factual report on the status of RLIS and expansion of Pothireddypadu Head Regulator after conducting a physical verification.

After considerable delay, a team was finally constituted by KRMB and visited the site. The KRMB Chairman was personally requested to permit representatives from Telangana Irrigation and CAD department to accompany the team on field visit.

Being complainants, the officials of Telangana would be in a better position to explain the points to be verified during the visit. However, KRMB Chairman turned down the request as the proposed inspection was to be done by a neutral body as per the directions of the Central government.

But irrigation officials from AP were allowed during the inspection. “On what grounds AP officials were permitted when KRMB Chairman said that a neutral body should conduct the inspection?” the official asked.

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