Hyderabad, Jan.12 (NSS): Senior Congress leader and former minister Marri Shashidhar Reddy here on Sunday demanded that the Telangana State government strongly oppose AP Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s proposal to double the water intake from the Pothireddypadu head regulator, which will adversely affect the farmers of South Telangana districts. He wanted the Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao to tread carefully while holding talks with his AP counterpart on the issue.
Addressing the media at Gandhi Bhavan today, Shashidhar Reddy said, “When Dr YS Rajasekhara Reddy proposed to increase the capacity of Pothireddypadu Head Regulator from 11,000 to 40,000 cusecs after he became Chief Minister in 2004, late P Janardhan Reddy and I fought with our own Congress government to safeguard the interests of Telangana.” He said they objected to YSR’s move as it would adversely affect the availability of assured water for Telangana farmers. In 2005, YSR decided to increase the capacity of Pothireddypadu citing that the number of days of flood flows will decrease to 30 days from 90 days because of the Almatti and Narayanpur dams in Karnataka.
Rajasekhar Reddy had initially sanctioned Rs 1,250 crore for Pothireddypadu, but there was no foundation stone laid for it. The work was started stealthily and carried out on a war-footing by working day and night, he recalled. AP CM Jagan Mohan Reddy said in last month that he would double the capacity of the Pothireddypadu Head Regulator from 40,000 to 80,000 cusecs. Neither Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao nor the Telangana State government reacted to this so far, he deplored.
“First of all, what is the present status of Pothireddypadu regulator and how much water has been drawn ever since it was completed,” he asked the Chief Minister. “Now what does doubling the capacity mean? KCR must not allow this to happen as the availability of assured water for Telangana would be jeopardized,” he said. Chandrashekhar Rao should not mortgage the interests of the people of Telangana. The Chief Minister has to explain his stand to people of Telangana, he demanded.
According to the media reports, AP CM Jagan and TS CM KCR are likely to meet on Monday at Pragathi Bhavan to discuss issues of both the States. “But, KCR should not mortgage the interests of the people of Telangana. KCR has to explain his stand to them”, he added.
The Congress leader explained that the FRL of Srisailam Project is 885 ft with a minimum drawdown level (MDDL) of 705 ft. Pothireddypadu was designed, as part of the Telugu Ganga Project to divert 15 TMC of assured water for Chennai and also to utilize the floodwater. The original capacity of Pothireddypadu was 11,000 cusecs, at sill level 841 ft, to draw 1 TMC per day for about 90 days. MDDL was changed to 834 ft, as per GO issued in 1996. In 2004, the MDDL was increased to 854ft by then CM YSR. In 2017, MDDL was reduced to 841 feet by GO issued by AP government.