Hyderabad: State Planning Board Vice Chairman B Vinod Kumar on Sunday exposed the lies being spread by BJP leaders on the alleged inaction by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao to settle river water disputes between Telangana State and Andhra Pradesh.
“Chandrashekhar Rao wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then Irrigation Ministers Uma Bharathi and Nitin Gadkari, asking them to set up a tribunal as per the provisions under section 3 of the Inter States River Water Disputes Act of 1956, to solve pending issues of the newborn State with AP, Maharashtra and Karnataka,” Vinod Kumar told mediapersons here.
Besides, the then Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao also wrote a letter to Uma Bharathi within six weeks of the formation of Telangana State on July 14, 2014, urging her to help find a solution to the pending water sharing issues between the two States, he said, adding: “On the same day, principal secretary irrigation SK Joshi also sent a notice to Union Irrigation secretary.”
Pointing out that all inter-State water disputes have to be resolved by the Centre as solutions for such issues cannot be arrived at State level, the TSPB chairman came down heavily on the State BJP leaders who were blaming the Telangana government for the pending river water issues with AP. “it is the Central government that has been delaying a final solution to the problems faced by the Telugu States,” he said, adding that Harish Rao, Chief Secretary and principal secretary irrigation wrote several letters to the Centre on the issue.
“During the 16th Lok Sabha, TRS MPs raised the issue and exerted pressure on Uma Bharathi and Gadkari. The arguments of Telangana was widely covered in the media at that time,” he said. He recalled that MPs from Maharashtra and Karnataka created a ruckus in the House opposing Telangana’s point of view and finally forced the Minister to retract from finding a solution. “When there was no action from the Union government as per section 3, the Telangana government approached the Apex court. Still, there has been no response from the BJP government at the Centre,” Vinod Kumar said.
“While these are the facts and the onus is very much on the Centre to resolve the issue between two States, it is deplorable that Union Minister G Kishan Reddy and State BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar are alleging inaction on the part of the TRS government,” he said. He wondered how a Minister of Kishan Reddy’s stature could suggest that the two States have to solve the problem on their own while the Centre will only play the role of a mediator.
Vinod Kumar said Chandrashekhar Rao had always wanted an amicable and everlasting solution to water disputes with its neighbours. “We all must remember that several river water issues remain unresolved even today because of the rude and unaccommodating attitude of the earlier governments. But our Chief Minister believes in negotiations across the table with his counterparts,” he said.
He urged the BJP leaders to take the initiative and impress upon the Centre to resolve the pending water disputes between the two States in the larger interest of the people of the States. He also suggested that they issue directions to the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal to allocate Krishna water to both the Telugu States in an amicable manner at the earliest.
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