BRS counters Congress with PPT on Krishna River water dispute

The BRS party has staunchly defended its position on the issue of transferring projects to the KRMB in the initial years of formation of Telangana.

BRS counters Congress with PPT on Krishna River water dispute

HYDERABAD: The BRS party has staunchly defended its position on the issue of transferring projects to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) in the initial years of formation of Telangana. In response to the PowerPoint presentation given by Irrigation Minister Uttam Kumar Reddy in the Assembly today, the BRS party published a counter presentation titled "Krishna River Water: Congress Lies Vs BRS Facts."

In its 23-slide presentation, the BRS refuted several allegations made by the Congress Government. It accused the Congress of selectively presenting portions of minutes of meetings of the Apex Council, letters, and other communications between the Telangana Government and the Union Ministry of Water Resources and KRMB.

The Congress Government, in its presentation, claimed that in the 2nd meeting of the Apex Council held on October 6, 2020, through video conference, then Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao agreed to fix the jurisdiction of KRMB and GRMB. In response, the BRS party shared a snapshot of meeting proceedings, which, in para 5.2 and 5.3, stated, "Hon'ble CM commented on the agenda items and recalled: Telangana stated that the working arrangement between both the States is continuing. Until the Tribunal finalises water sharing under Section 3 of the ISRWS Act of 1956, the question of notification of jurisdiction of Boards should not arise. He also stated that the tribunal matter is pending in the Supreme Court and is sub-judice. Hence, on this account also, the jurisdiction matter cannot be deliberated."

In another allegation, the Congress Government accused the previous BRS regime of not challenging the notification issued by the Centre regarding the jurisdiction of KRMB and GRMB. In response, the BRS party shared a snapshot of a circular dated May 19, 2023, with the subject - "KRMB - Summary Record of Discussion of the 17th meeting of the KRMB held on May 10, 2023."

The circular stated, "To this, Special Chief Secretary, I&CAD, GoTS stated that they do not agree for the transfer of the components of Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar and stressed that the matter be referred to the Apex Council to discuss common assets and to review the Gazette Notification No 2842 (E) dated 15.07.2021. The Board decided to refer the matter to DoWR, RS & GR."

The Congress Government alleged that in the 16th KRMB Meeting at Hyderabad, attended by Rajat Kumar, Special Chief Secretary, I&CAD Department, Government of Telangana, and C. Muralidhar, Engineer-in-chief (G), the State Government stated that it had no objection to the handing over of the components on the finalisation of the Rule Curves. It assured the Board that on the completion of the Rule Curves, necessary Govt. orders for handing over project components to KRMB would be issued by Telangana.

In response, the BRS party shared the snapshot of minutes' proceedings, which stated that while the AP Government had issued orders for the transfer of 5 components of Srisailam and 1 component of Nagarjuna Sagar to KRMB, matching government orders for the transfer of 2 components of Srisailam and seven components of Nagarjuna Sagar by Telangana were still awaited.

The BRS party stated that Irrigation Secretary Rahul Bojja wrote a letter to the Centre on January 27, 2024, stating that in the 17th KRMB meeting, Telangana indicated that it did not agree to transfer the components and stressed that the matter might be referred to the Apex Council. Further, he pointed out that Telangana sought modifications to Gazette notifications SO 2842 (E) AND SO 2843 (E) dated 15.07.2021 and SO 3511 (E) dated 27.07.2022, and the response of the Government of India was awaited.

The BRS party also shared the snapshot of proceedings of the second Apex Council meeting held on October 6, 2020, which stated that "Hon'ble CM of Telangana commented on the agenda items and recalled that immediately after the formation of the State of Telangana, he had made a representation to the Ministry of Water Resources on July 14, 2014, under Section-3 of ISRWD Act of 1956, asking for an equitable allocation of Krishna waters. He stated that Telangana is the youngest state and that every state has a constitutional right to a fair and equitable allocation of river waters. Telangana has requested that the matter be referred to a tribunal, and the government of India should not have any reservations about this. Even seven years after its formation, Telangana State still awaits its legitimate share of waters. After one year, they had approached the Supreme Court. He stated that he had mentioned all these in his letter to the Hon'ble Minister of Jal Shakti and had urged him to include them in the agenda of the meeting."

In its presentation, the BRS party shared the minutes of the meeting held on January 17, 2024, to review the situation relating to Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. In this meeting, it was decided that "both the states will hand over 15 prioritised components/outlets of Nagarjuna Sagar and Srisailam Project to KRMB within one month. The CRPF will keep a strict vigil on the dam site, and both the States will immediately release the funds to the KRMB."

It also shared the clips of the media briefing done by AP's Engineer-in-Chief after the meeting.

The Congress alleged that KCR meted out injustice to Telangana and cooperated with Andhra Pradesh on the Krishna water issue. But the fact was that the decision to divert Godavari water, which otherwise went to waste, into the sea will benefit both Telangana and Andhra.

The BRS party also dismissed the allegations about the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme and shared the list of 19 letters the BRS Govt wrote to various authorities against the RLIS. It also shared the representation submitted to Union Minister for Water Resources Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on October 2, 2020, against the illegal Pothireddypadu Head Regular project and its unauthorised expansion by Andhra Pradesh, stating that it would irreversibly compromise the interests and rights of Telangana.

In its presentation, the BRS party countered CM Revanth Reddy's allegation that BRS MLAs were ministers in the then Congress government and closed their lips for posts when the Pothireddypadu GO was issued. But in reality, TRS ministers resigned from the Congress government on July 4, 2005, and the GO for the project was issued on September 13, 2005. "While the BRS MLAs stalled the Assembly proceedings over the Pothireddypadu issue, Congress ministers and MLAs did not speak against it," the BRS party claimed.

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