CM urges Centre to lift embargo on Rayalaseema lift scheme

Curbs on A.P. by sparing TS will cause great loss to State, Jagan says in letter to Shekawat

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has urged the Union government to lift the embargo imposed on the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (RLIS) and facilitate Andhra Pradesh to go ahead with the project.

In a letter to Union Water Resources Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Tuesday, Mr. Jagan said that the embargo on the RLIS did not appear to fit with any of the schemes of the Reorganisation Act and the advantages being reaped by Telangana without submitting itself to any scrutiny under the Act. Andhra Pradesh was neither creating any new ayacut nor any new canal or new storage under the lift scheme but taking up this supplementing scheme to only draw water at a level of 800 feet connecting to the existing canal to meet the drinking and irrigation needs of the critically and chronically drought-prone areas of Rayalaseema, Nellore and Prakasam districts well within its allocation, as Pothireddypadu Head Regulator could not draw any water below the reservoir level of 854 ft, he said.

New schemes of TS

Telangana was constructing four new irrigation schemes having withdrawal capacity of about 3 tmcft /day at a sill level of 800 feet to utilise about 200 tmcft from the foreshore of the Srisailam Reservoir. Besides these projects, there was a facility for power generation on the left side of the Srisailam Reservoir from a level of 796 feet itself with a discharge capacity of 42,000 cusecs on the Telangana side, which they often operated unilaterally ignoring the directions of the KRMB depriving Rayalaseema, Nellore and Prakasam districts of both the drinking and irrigation needs. Pothireddypadu head regulator on the Srisailam Reservoir was not a separate project, but would only facilitate supplying of water to KC Canal, SRBC, TGP, GNSS besides drinking water to Chennai city.

Clearances given

The RLIS was seen by a committee constituted by the NGT Chennai Bench and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, and in their view this was not a new project or any upgradation with additional dimensions. The clearance was given in their meeting on July 29. Both the KRMB and the Apex Council would deem fit to step in only when a project fulfilled elements of a new project. “While restraining A.P. from undertaking the RLIS with no similar direction to Telangana in the past would result in an irreparable damage to A.P.’s interest. Hon’le Chairman, Apex Council may reconsider this,” he said.

“My appeal to your good self would be to lift the embargo and facilitate us to go ahead with all preliminary steps,” he added.

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