Noisy scenes rock AP assembly over water sharing issues

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Amaravati: Acrimonious scenes were witnessed in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly Thursday over water sharing issues with Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy asking Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu whether he was “rearing donkeys” when Telangana was building Kaleshwaram irrigation project.

As the Telugu Desam Party raised objection to his remark against their leader, he sought to clarify it was only a colloquial proverb and there was nothing wrong with its usage.

At the same time, Jagan heaped praise on Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao for being magnanimous towards Andhra Pradesh in agreeing to share Godavari river waters that would help stabilise huge ayacut under Krishna.

The Question Hour, on the first day of the Budget session that began here Thursday, witnessed noisy scenes, as the ruling YSR Congress and the opposition TDP members engaged in a verbal duel over the issue of sharing of inter-state river waters.

In a sharp attack on Chandrababu Naidu, Jagan said as Chief Minister the former could not prevent the construction of either Almatti dam in Karnataka or Kaleshwaram in Telangana.

It is a bare fact that we can do nothing about what the upper riparian states do. We may raise a hue and cry and file cases in court but the litigation will never end.

Cordiality between states is the key and KCR (Rao) showed magnanimity in this, the Chief Minister noted.

Reeling out statistics, Jagan said on an average 1100-1200 tmc ft of water flowed downstream from the upper riparian states (Maharashtra and Karnataka) in river Krishna in 47 years but it fell to just about 500-600 tmc ft in the last decade.

The Telangana Chief Minister showed “magnanimity and came forward to share Godavari waters with AP.So now we will be taking Godavari waters from Telangana to Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar. We should feel happy about his magnanimity.

It is reflective of the cordial relationship between the two states, he added.

Explaining the scenario with respect to Godavari, Jagan said of the four tributaries, two are in Telangana and one that flows from Nasik has almost dried up, leaving Andhra Pradesh only with Sabari, which constitutes just 11 per cent of Godavari.

Noting that only 500 tmc ft water was coming from it, he said water doesnt flow down from Telangana if they stop and stressed on the need for maintaining cordiality between states.

If an upper riparian states does something (to store water), we cant do anything about it. When Telangana was building Kaleshwaram to lift 3 tmc ft of water, what could Chandrababu Naidu, as Chief Minister for five years, do to prevent it? Nobody could do anything, he said.

“I went for the inauguration only after the Kaleshwaram project was completed. When he was Chief Minister here and Telangana was building that project, I am asking, was Chandrababu rearing donkeys,” Jagan said.

Reacting to this, Chandrababu Naidu said your age is almost equal to my (political) experience. This is a sensitive issue and hasty decisions are not good.”

He recalled that Jagan when he was in the opposition had come out against the Kaleshwaram project and had even said AP and Telangana could become like India and Pakistan if the project was completed.

But now he is endorsing the project. Things will be fine when we are together but trouble starts if there is any strain in the relationship (between the two states), the opposition leader added.

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