Nalgonda: The inter-State river water dispute between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh turned into a tense face-off between the officials of the two States on Thursday even as a huge police force were deployed by both at several key irrigation and hydel projects on either side of the State borders.
Besides the Nagarjunasagar Project (NSP), security was beefed up at the Jurala and Pulichintala projects too. The Telangana police closed the road leading to the hydel power plant of the NSP by setting up barbed wire fencing. Tense moments unfolded during the day when the Superintendent Engineer of NSP Right Canal from AP, Purushotham Reddy, tried to make his way through the police barricade to meet the NSP Chief Engineer on the Telangana side to submit a letter. He was, however, stopped by the police at the State border near the new bridge.
The AP official then called up his Telangana counterpart, who, however, turned down his request to either meet him or accept the letter, leading to some tense moments.
At the Pulichintala project, however, Superintendent Engineer of Irrigation, AP, Shyam Prasad submitted a letter to TS Genco Superintendent Engineer Deshya Naik at Vajinepally in Chinthapalem mandal of Suryapet district demanding that Telangana stop power generation at the project. They held discussions amid tight security from both States. Shyam Prasad alleged that the water level in the project is lower than the Minimum Draw Down Level (MDDL). Deshya Naik informed him that the matter should be taken up with the Engineer-in-Chief of Irrigation, Telangana.
The entire drama was a fallout of the continued defiance of the AP government with regard to stopping works on the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (RLIS) in gross violation of orders issued by both the National Green Tribunal and the Krishna River Management Board. Notwithstanding the friendly approach of the Telangana government, AP drew first blood by taking up the RLIS works and continued to defy the NGT and KRMB orders.
Later, Purushotham Reddy, speaking to the media, expressed his displeasure over the “attitude of Telangana officials.” “What is wrong in accepting a protest letter from us? There is a need to provide irrigation facility to farmers of the right canal ayacut for the monsoon crop. The Telangana government’s decision to generate power at hydel plants at the Nagarjunasagar and Pulichinthala projects at a time when the water level is low water is nothing but wastage of water,” he said.
While Telangana police imposed a ban on the movement of vehicles and people on the Pulichinthala dam, Superintendent of Police, Guntur (Rural), Vishal Gunni said required police forces were deployed in some places. Overall, the situation was peaceful, he added.