Minister for Major Irrigation Ponnala Lakshmaiah on Monday put the blame squarely on former chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu for creating hurdles in the proposed talks between Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh over various issues.
Talking to media persons, Mr Lakshmaiah said that the campaign by the former chief minister over the Babli issue has created hurdles for the state government for the talk over claiming compensation or water for Prahahita-Chevella project.
The Minister lashed out against Babu, and said that the TDP leader had created a scene in Maharashtra for his political gains, but the side effect of this had been the postponement of talks with the neighbouring state which were scheduled to place on January 20.
Mr Lakshmaiah revealed that over 6,140 acres of land was coming under submergence in both the states under Babli Irrigaiton Project. Of these, 526 acres were in Andhra Pradesh. He said that the state government had prepared a report for payment of compensation.
A meeting was scheduled for January 20 this year to submit this report, but the Maharashtra government was now evasive over this meeting. Further another meeting between district Collectors and superintendent engineers from the two states was expected take place, but too had not materialised.
In this connection, Mr Lakshmaiah requested the Maharashtra to meet and talk in the interest of the farmers and on humanitarian grounds. He stated that the postponement will have an adverse affect on the state.
Stating that under Krishna and Godavari basins huge amount of water was going waste and this assumed importance for the Jalayagnam project to harness the rain water, the Irrigation Minister stated that this year, though there was 30 per cent excess rainfall, the state utilised only 780 tmc of water, where as 4,219 tmc drained into the sea.
Under Krishna basin 312 tmc of water joined the sea while 192 tmc was saved.
Under Godavari basin 3758 tmc water drained into the sea while only 260 tmc was stored and under Vamjshadhara 49 tmc has gone waste while 12 tmc was used.
He said that this proved that the Jalayagnam project’s importance as it could utilise the water to the fullest capacity.
The Minister highlighted the importance of Jalayagnam and said that the Babu has been criticising the state government in this respect only for gaining political mileage and did not see the vital role of this massive project.
In this regard, Mr Lakshmaiah said the government is coming out with a master plan to harness the excess rainfall in the state. For example, in Warangal district the Ramappa Tank went dry despite good rains. He saw the need to connect streams and small canals to divert the water into the tanks for better utility of rain water.