Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy on Thursday broke his silence and hit out at the CWC decision to bifurcate the state. Expressing his dissatisfaction over the division, Reddy said, “The issue cannot move forward unless the Central Government and the four-member committee headed by A K Antony clarify several burning issues like sharing of water, power and other resources and gives clarity on the genuine difference of opinions and concerns that had arisen following the decision to form a separate state of Telangana.
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Hyderabad: Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy on Thursday broke his silence and hit out at the CWC decision to bifurcate the state. Expressing his dissatisfaction over the division, Reddy said, “The issue cannot move forward unless the Central Government and the four-member committee headed by A K Antony clarify several burning issues like sharing of water, power and other resources and gives clarity on the genuine difference of opinions and concerns that had arisen following the decision to form a separate state of Telangana.
Addressing his first press conference after the CWC announced its decision to bifurcate the state on July 30, Kiran Reddy said unless the apprehensions of the people of all the three regions are fully addressed, the issue cannot even come before the State Assembly. Stating that he was not against Telangana state, Kiran said, “Division of a state should not be on the basis of agitations. It should have clear reasons. There is no precedent where such a developed state was divided.”
Replying to a volley of questions, he repeatedly stated so far only the Congress party had taken a decision and now it was for the central government and the four-member committee to give absolute clarification on the issues raised by the people of the state. The Chief Minister said he had made this point very clear even to the high command and told them that if they gave satisfactory replies to people’s doubts, then he would not oppose bifurcation. He said the state government would explain all the issues it had raised at the core committee meeting before the Antony committee.
He also asked the employees unions, students and representatives of other organizations to express their views before this committee which would be visiting the state soon. He alleged that the problem of dividing the state had its genesis when a team of Telangana Congress MLAs under the leadership of YS Rajasekhara Reddy submitted a memorandum demanding separate state. This was followed up by letters supporting bifurcation by other parties. In 2004 the Congress opted for a second State’s Reorganization Commission, he said.
Kiran said the CWC decision had led to agitations in Seemandhra region and resignations by some ministers, MPs and MLAs because all of them were concerned about the problems that would arise if a hasty decision was taken. Justifying his argument, Kiran said under Srisailam reservoir, about 30-35 lakh acres is irrigated which caters to the requirements of Nalgonda, Mahabubnagar, Nellore, Prakasam and four districts of Rayalaseema. How to distribute the water from this project after bifurcation?
Similarly, under Nagarjuna Sagar dam, about 23 lakh acres is irrigated. This project is in the middle of Telangana and Andhra. Some 11 lakh acres under Right Bank Canal is irrigated in Andhra region while about 7 lakh acres of land is irrigated in Telangana under the Left Canal. Again it criss-crosses into Andhra region where 2 lakh acres in Krishna district is irrigated. How to avoid problems for farmers under this project, he asked.
Polavaram national project caters to 7.20 lakh acres and of the 80 tmc Godavari water allocted, Maharashtra will get 14 tmc, Karnataka 21 tmc and Andhra 45 tmc. Once the project is completed it can fulfil the requirements of Telangana and Rayalaseema regions. It has inter-connectivity and the question is how to distribute the water if the state is divided.
The Dummugudem project in Nalgonda and Khammam have connectivity to Nagarjuna Sagar. How will this issue be sorted out? These problems will have direct bearing on the life of crores of farmers across the regions. The Chief Minister further said that last year when the state faced acute shortage of water, it could manage as it took water from Khammam. Even Rabi crop could be saved only because water was diverted from Khammam. If divided, how to handle such situations in future? Already the state is suffering as it was not getting water from Tungabhadra in Karnataka. We are also having problems with Maharashtra and Odisha. If divided we will have to face new problems, he said.
Referring to the power sector, Kiran said Telangana had 65 percent of total pump sets in the state. This region generates only 57 per cent of power consumed by the region. The balance has to come from other power units. Criticizing KCR for having claimed that they would get 10,000 mw from Chhattisgarh, he said there was no connectivity from that state which produces only 6,600 mw of power.
Even if grid connectivity was taken it would take another 4-5 years, he said. The grid connectivity with Sholapur-Raichur-Kurnool is behind schedule by six months and is unlikely to be completed before the end of 2014. In Andhra region many power plants are suffering due to shortage of coal and Gas. About 7000 mw capacity is lying idle. He also refuted the claims on GO 610 not being implemented and that 60,000 jobs would be available after bifurcation. He said only 18,856 jobs were identified as irregular under GO 610 and 90% of them had been repatriated to parent department or districts, he added.
Kiran said there were apprehensions about Education, Health and jobs in private sector which were concentrated in Hyderabad. This issue also needed to be addressed. This city was developed with the feeling that it belonged to people from all regions, he said.