Return of villages a betrayal of Polavaram: Experts

During the talks held between the Chief Ministers of AP and Telangana, CM Naidu is said to have agreed in principle to the proposal to re-merger five villages near Bhadrachalam with Telangana.
Polavaram Project
Polavaram ProjectPhoto | Express

RAJAMAHENDRAVARAM : Irrigation experts have strongly opposed the reported move of the Andhra Pradesh government to return five villages in Yatapaka mandal of Alluri Sitaramaraju district to Telangana.

During the talks held between the Chief Ministers of AP and Telangana in Hyderabad on Saturday to resolve the long-pending bifurcation issues between the two sibling States, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu is said to have agreed in principle to the proposal for re-merger of five villages near Bhadrachalam with Telangana. They include Yetapaka, Gundala, Pichukalapadu, Kannaigudem and Purushothapatnam.

“It is a foolish and unwise decision, if it is true as there is a possibility of creating hurdles to the Polavaram Irrigation Project on the pretext of submergence of these five villages in the future,” opined the irrigation experts.

Speaking to TNIE, Polavaram project retired superintending engineer Saana Nageswara Rao said,”We are shocked on hearing the news reports that the AP Chief Minister has agreed in principle to the re-merger of five villages near Bhadrachalam with Telangana. It is nothing but a betrayal of Polavaram project.”

Seven mandals from Khammam district of Telangana were transferred to Andhra Pradesh due to the efforts of the then Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu after bifurcation. They include four mandals from Bhadrachalam revenue division, namely Chinturu, Kunavaram, Vararamachandrapuram and Bhadrachalam (excluding Bhadrachalam revenue village), and the mandals were transferred to the erstwhile undivided East Godavari district, he recounted.

The retired SE opined that there should not be any discussion on these villages now. “It is the responsibility of the AP government to take care of the people of the five villages. If you yield to the pressure, it is nothing but harming the interests of Polavaram project, and Andhra Pradesh. Already 10 years have gone. Do not open discussion on the merged mandals now,” he said.

Retired irrigation chief engineer P Gopalakrishna Reddy said, “Do not open pandora’s box. This is time to concentrate on Polavaram project, and complete it at the earliest. We are already facing several technical issues in the construction of the multipurpose project. Why are you unnecessarily encouraging discussion on the five villages now? After the merger of villages with Andhra Pradesh, it is a closed chapter. We have our own Sileru project. If you hand over the five villages, in the future they may ask for return of the seven mandals too. No more debate on the merged mandals now.”

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