Jagan Mohan Reddy: Tamil Nadu owes Andhra Rs 338 crore, Stalin calls for amicable solution

Andhra Pradesh has been supplying water to Tamil Nadu to meet the drinking-water requirements of Chennai under the Telugu Ganga project, said Jagan Mohan Reddy during 29th Southern Zonal Council meeting in Tirupati.

Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy on Sunday said his state has been supplying water to Tamil Nadu to meet the drinking-water requirements of Chennai city under the Telugu Ganga project but the neighbouring state has not paid Rs 338.48 crore pending for the last 10 years.

Reddy raised the issue during the 29th Southern Zonal Council meeting chaired by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Tirupati. Chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Puducherry attended the meeting. On behalf of Tamil Nadu, Higher Education Minister K Ponmudy was present.

Jagan Mohan Reddy requested the Centre to constitute a committee under the chairmanship of the Union home minister to resolve the inter-state issues in a time-bound manner.

“As per Interstate agreements, the states of Maharashtra, Karnataka and erstwhile Andhra Pradesh agreed to spare 5TMC each from their respective allocations in Krishna river basin for drinking water supply to Chennai city. Although there is a lack of cooperation from other states, Andhra Pradesh has been supplying water at Tamil Nadu border as and when requested by the Tamil Nadu government to meet the drinking water needs of Chennai city. Of the compensation required to be paid for infrastructure and cost associated with operation and maintenance, an amount of Rs 338.48 crore has been pending for the last 10 years. In this regard, I request that suitable steps be taken to settle this amount at the earliest,” Jagan said.

He also added that Tamil Nadu has been opposing the Palar project in Kuppam at the interstate border and sought the Centre’s intervention.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, meanwhile, said unnecessary litigations and needless conflicts would result in unwanted animosity that may hinder the progress of both states. “The universal language of love can dissolve all problems and make us march in the path of progress unitedly,” Stalin said.

In his speech read out by minister Ponmudy, Stalin said solidarity among them is crucial in utilising the limited resources available between them judiciously.

“Tamil Nadu is a water deficit state and in short of a perennial river flowing through its territory. The farmers toil with scanty groundwater and uncertain monsoon. Having a large farming population depending on traditional agriculture for ensuring food security, protecting our rights on inter-state rivers is too crucial for our State. We are always ready to cooperate with our neighbouring states and resolve the issues in a constructive and amicable manner resulting in mutual benefit,” he said.

Stalin also urged the Union government to declare Tamil as one of the official languages of the country. He said Tamil was the first classical language of India to be accorded official recognition as a classical language and noted that the prime minister never misses to quote verses from Tamil literature in his speeches to embellish an argument.

“Being one of the world’s oldest and rich languages that is already a national language in Sri Lanka and Singapore, and a minority language in Malaysia and South Africa, we urge the Union government to declare our classical language as one of the official languages of the country. We also request the Union government to declare Thirukkural as a national book that signifies its secular couplets with capsules of wisdom,” Stalin said.

Tamil Nadu further raised the issue of the size and capacity of fishing boats to be used in India’s exclusive economic zone and the transfer of railway lands for metro rail projects.

(With PTI Inputs)

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