Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao sent out a clear message on Thursday that Telangana would do everything to protect its rightful share of water in both Krishna and Godavari rivers. “We are determined not to lose even a single drop of water that belongs to Telangana, which was discriminated against in the field of irrigation in undivided Andhra Pradesh,” the Chief Minister said.

A decision in this regard was taken at a meeting held by Chandrashekhar Rao at Pragathi Bhavan to deliberate on the letter written by Union Jal Shakti Secretary UP Singh seeking the Telangana government’s opinion on the proposed Apex Council meeting to sort out river water disputes between the two States on August 5.

The high-level meeting also decided to seek postponement of the meeting since the date suggested by the Jal Shakti Ministry clashed with many government engagements that had already been scheduled for August 5. It was decided that the State government will seek rescheduling of the date for the Apex Council meet, preferably after August 20. It was also decided that Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar will write to the Ministry seeking deferment of the meeting.

The meeting also expressed dissatisfaction over the part played by the Jal Shakti Ministry in resolving the water dispute between the two Telugu States. It was felt that the Centre, which was supposed to oversee the distribution of equitable water share between the States, had failed to maintain that tradition. 

While maintaining that the Centre could have played a positive role in water distribution between the two States, the meeting felt that in case of disputes, the Tribunal must come into the picture.

The Telangana government has been urging the Centre to hand over the pre-existing inter-State disputes between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to the Tribunal as per Section 13 of the AP Reorganisation Act of 2014, but the Ministry ignored its demand. The high-level meeting, which strongly condemned the deplorable attitude of the Centre, said the Union government should discard such attitude, which was costing both the States dearly.

The meeting was of the belief that any prolonged row over water sharing between the two neighbouring States does not augur well for either State and that it would be good if the disputes are resolved legally under the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. 

It was also resolved that priority must be given to completion of projects such as Palamuru-Rangareddy and Dindi lift irrigation schemes that would help districts such as Mahabubnagar, Rangareddy and Nalgonda, which were the worst-affected in undivided AP.

The meeting decided to completely utilise Telangana’s legitimate share in the Krishna and Godavari waters by completing projects on a war-footing without any compromise on the State’s share.

State Planning Board Vice-Chairman B Vinod Kumar, Rythu Bandhu Samithi president Palla Rajeshwar Reddy, Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar, Chief Adviser Rajiv Sharma, Irrigation Advisor SK Joshi, CMO senior officers Narsing Rao and Smitha Sabharwal, Irrigation Principal Secretary Rajat Kumar, CMO OSD Sridhar Rao Deshpande, representatives of the Telangana Retired Engineers Association M Shyamsunder Reddy, Venkata Rama Rao, Ramakrishna Reddy, Damodar Reddy, Gopal Reddy, Chief Engineers Nagender Rao and Narasimha, government counsel in the Supreme Court Ravinder Rao and others participated in the meeting.

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