RDS kicks up political storm in Mahbubnagar

Ruling TRS engages in war of words with Congress and TDP leaders over modernisation works of the project.

Published: 11th May 2016 04:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th May 2016 04:48 AM   |  A+A-

RDS kicks

HYDERABAD: Sluices blown up by farmers in Kurnool using crude bombs and farmers of Kurnool (AP) and Mahbubnagar (TS) involved in pitched battle. This is what Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme (RDS) is known for when it gets filled with water during monsoon.

As the two Telugu states are reeling under severe drought, tension is mounting among farmers in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. This time, Karnataka State, where the actual project lies, is also brought into the picture.

Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme (RDS), which has become a bone of contention between the three states, is also generating political heat within Telangana.

The dispute, which has a history of decades has suddenly acquired significance as Telangana irrigation minister T Harish Rao met his Karnataka counterpart MB Patil seeking his help to expedite the modernisation works of RDS.

RDS kic.JPGPatil said they have no objection to complete the works but wanted TS to ensure that the AP farmers would not stop  the modernisation works. Harish Rao then called up AP irrigation minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao twice to resolve the issue. Though, Umamaheswara Rao was open for a dialogue with TS, he had some conditions for that.

Sensing an opportunity, opposition Congress in Telangana tried to kick up a political storm with Alampur MLA Sampath launching an agitation demanding the expeditation of modernisation works of RDS.

As per the award of the Tribunal, Mahbubnagar district was entitled to get 15.9 tmc water from RDS to irrigate 87,500 acres of farmlands. However, the district is hardly getting 5 tmc water. Besides, Kurnool farmers are frequently diverting the RDS waters by breaching the canal. Modernisation of RDS is the only solution to ensure adequate supply of water to the parched agricultural lands in Mahbubnagar district.

As part of RDS works, the barrage height has to be increased by 15 cm and lining has to be done to the canals.

The government of erstwhile AP had sanctioned `72 crore for the same and deposited `59 crore with the Karnataka government in 2013. Even after three years, the works are yet to be launched. The blame game picked up on Tuesday. Harish Rao asked Congress to stop resorting to drama over RDS.

“The Congress will speak in different tunes in Karnataka, AP and TS,” Harish Rao alleged. He dared T Congress leaders to ensure that AP Congress leader Raghuveera Reddy stops talking against modernisation of RDS.

“During Congress rule, they did not hold talks with Karnataka to take up modernisation of RDS,” Harish alleged. The Telangana TDP leaders too should ensure that AP TDP did not oppose Palamuru-Rangareddy and other projects, Harish Rao added.


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