At a time when the state is reeling under severe drought, political leaders are whipping up regional passions on sharing of Krishna river water to reap electoral benefits.
Leaders, irrespective of their political hue, are taking to streets to demand water for their respective region.
A day after two MPs of the Congress _ SPY Reddy (Nandyal) and Gutta Sukhender Reddy (Nalgonda) _ had objected to the release of water from the Srisailam reservoir to the Nagarjuna Sagar dam and from the Nagarjuna Sagar dam to the Krishna delta respectively, TDP legislators from West Godavari, Krishna, Guntur and Prakasam districts, along with local farmers, took to streets on Saturday demanding immediate release of water from Nagarjuna Sagar to the Krishna delta.
They blocked National Highway 9 at Gollapudi near Vijayawada and stalled the traffic for over an hour.
When asked about the Krishna delta TDP leaders’ efforts to arouse regional sentiments over water issue, party legislator Devineni Umamaheswara Rao said that they were not agitating with an eye on political gains but were only fighting for the irrigation needs of the farmers of the delta.
“Farmers of Krishna delta are losing their crops because of government’s indifference to release water from Nagarjuna Sagar,” he explained.
Meanwhile Congress MP SPY Reddy, who resigned from the Lok Sabha on Friday in protest against the release of Krishna water from the Srisailam reservoir to Nagarjuna Sagar, met chief minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy here on Saturday and announced later that he was withdrawing his resignation as the chief minister accepted his demand for meeting the drinking and irrigation water needs of the Rayalaseema region.
The Nandyal MP claimed that the chief minister had assured him that the government would release half tmcft of water to the Krishna delta and another half tmcft to the Rayalaseema region from the Srisailam reservoir.
Interestingly, law minister Erasu Prthap Reddy also asked the chief minister not to release water from the Srisailam reservoir to Nagarjuna Sagar, saying that it would harm the interests of Rayalaseema farmers.
Congress MP from Telangana Gutha Sukhender Reddy also met the chief minister on Saturday and submitted a memorandum urging the chief minister not to release water from Nagarjuna Sagar to the Krishna delta, saying that people of Nalgonda district were facing acute shortage of drinking water.
Sukhender filed a petition along with another person in the High Court on Friday seeking a direction to the government not to release any further water from the Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir, even if its level goes above 510 feet, for purposes other than drinking water and meeting the needs of fluorideaffected Nalgonda district.