Jagan’s water concern may well be a reality

Once Telangana and Seemandhra come into being, the regional demands which are already there will rise.

YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy began his indefinite fast demanding the central government rollback its decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh. He sat on fast in front of the party office at Lotus Pond in Jubilee Hills. Several party leaders and activists are also sitting on fast with him since 11.30 am.

In an interview to CNN-IBN, Jagan said, “Someone wanted the son to become a PM and bifurcated Telangana.” Terming the decision of the union cabinet “arbitrary”, he reiterated that Congress was dividing the state for “votes and seats”.  “Just for 16-17 seats, how can they play with the future of lakhs of people in a state.”

He said that the Congress government has split a state without considering important issues like water supply. “Where will we get water from? There are so many tribunals, yet every year Karnataka and Tamil Nadu fight over water-sharing from Cauvery. The issue has still not been resolved. Imagine if another state comes up, what will be the specifics of water sharing?” he asked.

The water problem that Jagan is mentioning might well be a reality.

For long, it was felt that 811 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) awarded to the state by the Bachawat tribunal were insufficient. The state used to utilise 748 TMC till 1975. What it got in addition later was a measly 60 TMC.

Once Telangana and Seemandhra come into being, the regional demands which are already there will rise.

At the entry point of river Krishna in present-day Andhra Pradesh lies Jurala in Mahaboobnagar district. The problem starts just from there. The hydroelectric project in Jurala can store water throughout the year. The catchment areas of Krishna’s downstream projects –Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar reservoirs, besides Prakasam Barrage in Vijayawada – are eternally hard-pressed due to shortfall in inflows at Jurala.

The insufficient allocation and inflows in Krishna is already a matter of grave concern. The increase in the height of Almatti and Narayanapur dams in upstream Karnataka only adds to the problem. The state has already failed to get its due share of water through Jurala last year due to this.

As a means to mitigate this problem, a diversion lift was proposed as part of the ‘Jalayagnam’ scheme. The work is yet to materialise. But when taken up in a newly created Telangana, it is only bound to make matters worse for the Andhra region.

He also voiced his concerns about the employment prospects of people from the Seemandhra regions. “We will challenge the Centre’s decision (to divide AP) in the Supreme Court,” he declared.

Jagan said by undertaking the fast, he want to highlight the injustice to Seemandhra (Rayalseema and coastal Andhra). His party is also sending a delegation to Delhi to mobilize support from other parties.

“Today this has happened to Andhra Pradesh but tomorrow it can happen to any other state,” he said.

The young leader, who spent 16 months in jail before being released on bail last week in a corruption case, said state’s division would badly hit the interests of people of Seemandhra. “How will they survive without water for irrigation and drinking,” he asked.

The YSR Congress leader also pointed out that the youth from Seemandhra after their education look to Hyderabad for jobs and the city also contribute 50 percent of the revenues.

This is the second time that Jagan is undertaking an indefinite fast on the issue.
In September, he went on an indefinite hunger strike in Chanchalguda Jail, where he was lodged as an undertrial in an alleged disproportionate assets case against him, but it was foiled on the fifth day.

Now, following the Union Cabinet’s approval of division of the state, Jagan, who was recently granted bail, re-launched his agitation blaming the Centre and the Congress for going ahead with the bifurcation process without addressing the concerns of “majority of people”.

-with inputs from IANS

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