The Chief Minister, who is also a member of the Apex Council, took exception to the Central government’s stand on TS’ irrigation projects. “It is not fair for the Centre to raise objections on the projects which were sanctioned before the bifurcation of the State. Water allocation has also been completed for these projects,” he said and pointed out that the State had spent a lot of money on constructing the projects.
Rao also found fault with the Centre for objecting to the release of water from the Srisailam to Nagarjuna Sagar Project (NSP). “Actually, other projects should be filled only after the NSP is filled. For that matter, Srisailam is not an irrigation project. It is a hydel project. The Centre is not taking these facts into consideration,” he said.
The CM stated that as a State, Telangana too has rights. “We will expose the Central government’s stand to the nation,” he said. Rao said the projects across the Godavari and Krishna rivers were being constructed in accordance with TS’ water share. “We got clearances from the Central Water Commission. We have spent `23,000 crore so far on irrigation projects and acquired 31,500 acres for their construction. Though, the projects were sanctioned in unified AP, the then government failed to complete them. These projects have been redesigned to meet requirements of the State. Hence, there is no need for fresh clearances,” he said.
The separate statehood movement took birth because the erstwhile AP government was being unjust by not taking up irrigation projects in TS, the CM said and pointed out that even the agreement for the construction of barrages on the Penganga was reached in 1975.
Rao also recalled that in the first Apex Council meeting, AP had objected to the Palamuru-Rangareddy, while TS opposed the Muchumarri project in AP. “It was decided in that meeting that both the projects should be constructed. Raising the Palamuru-Rangareddy issue again now is not fair,” he said. He decided to seek 1,000 tmcft of Godavari water out of the 2,000 tmcft, which was going waste in the sea. The course of the Godavari is longer in TS than in AP, he said.