TRS to press for national project status to Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme

According to sources, the Telangana government officials would soon consult the advocates dealing with the matter and present their arguments in the Supreme Court.

Published: 16th November 2019 03:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th November 2019 03:18 AM   |  A+A-

Kaleshwaram Lift Irrgation Scheme

Kaleshwaram Lift Irrgation Scheme (File photo)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD /VIJAYAWADA: The TRS MPs have once again decided to demand national project status to Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS) in Parliament when it meets for winter session on November 18. 

The TRS MPs have resolved to take up the issue with its sibling state of Andhra Pradesh, which in its counter affidavit on AP Reorganisation Act, wanted the Supreme Court not to confer national status on Kaleshwaram.

A day after AP filed the affidavit in the apex court, the TRS Parliamentary Party meeting held here on Friday, decided to raise the national status issue in the Parliament.

Besides, the pending issues of AP Reorganisation Act, 2014 including setting up of a steel factory at Bayyaram, the party MPs would also demand national project status to Kaleshwaram, TRS MP Nama Nageswara Rao told reporters after the meeting.

Several TRS leaders were taken by surprise when AP contended in its affidavit with Supreme Court that national project status need not be conferred on Kaleshwaram.  When the Chief Ministers of both the States sat together and resolved to solve the inter-state issues amicably, the act of the AP government came in as a shock for the TRS. 

According to a party MP, the contents of the AP’s affidavit were being examined by Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao himself. The case relating bifurcation issues were being handled by the States’ Reorganisation (SR) department. 

The Telangana government had filed its affidavit in the apex court in March this year, in a case filed by Ponguleti Sudhakar Reddy in the Supreme Court demanding implementation of the assurances of the AP Reorganisation Act.

The TS in its affidavit, filed by SR department principal secretary K Ramakrishna Rao, wanted the apex court to confer national project status on Palamuru-Rangareddy lift irrigation scheme, Dindi and also Kaleshwaram. 

However, the TS government neither objected to the construction of Polavaram nor national project status to it. It prayed in its affidavit that the environmental clearance was given to Polavaram in 2015 considering 36 lakh cusecs as maximum flood discharge. 

On national project status to Polavaram, TS stated in the affidavit that: “In the event of granting national project status to Polavaram, the State of Telangana ought to be given an opportunity to file a written statement as the state came into existence on June 2, 2014.’’

According to sources, the TS officials would soon consult the advocates dealing with the matter and present their arguments in the Supreme Court. Andhra Pradesh in its counter affidavit argued that Kaleshwaram project  ‘cannot be considered’ for declaration as a national project as it is “prejudicial” to the interest of  farmers of its State. 

It also noted that besides KLIP, the Telangana government was also taking up other new projects — especially Palamuru-Rangareddy lift irrigation and Dindi lift irrigation schemes — for utilising about 450 tmcft of Godavari water, contrary to Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal (GWDT) and AP Reorganisation Act, 2014. It added that if all such projects were allowed, the lifeline project of Andhra Pradesh, Polavaram Project, and established utilisations under Dowleswaram Barrage would be ‘severely affected’.

Further, the State also stated that Telangana cannot raise any objection against Polavaram project as AP Reorganisation Act states that the consent for the project was deemed to have been given by the successor neighbouring state. “It is submitted that the villages which are coming under submergence have been transferred from Telangana to AP. “Hence, Telangana cannot raise any objection including present application, and therefore should not be made a party herein,” it submitted.

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