The Palamuru and Dindi irrigation projects taken up by Telangana, which are facing hurdles from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, have now got a breather. At a hearing, the Supreme Court has now directed the Centre to set up an apex council to expeditiously settle all issues. This has come as a relief for Telangana and its investment aspirations.
The court passed the orders on a petition filed by one A. Gopalakrishna of Vijayawada, alleging that the projects across Krishna river were taken up without permission from the Krishna River Management Board and would badly hit the interests of Andhra farmers.
Telangana argued that since the projects were approved in united Andhra Pradesh, there was no need for fresh approvals. However, the three-judge bench said the matter should be settled at the earliest by the apex council.
It suggested that the governments of both states be made parties.
The Telangana government expressed satisfaction over the Supreme Court’s orders and claimed that this had cleared way for the two key lift irrigation projects.
On his return from New Delhi, Telengana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao held a meeting with Irrigation Minister Harish Rao, other ministers, MPs and senior officials to discuss the apex court’s order.
The Chief Minister asked officials to complete the projects speedily to solve the problem of recurring drought situation in Mahabubnagar and Nalgonda districts.
Rao said he hoped that in view of the latest court orders, Andhra Pradesh would change its attitude and stop raising unnecessary objections to the projects.
Palamuru project, expected to cost over Rs 35,000 crore, will lift 90 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of excess water from Srisailam reservoir during the flood season.
It is expected to irrigate 10 lakh acres, provide drinking water to Hyderabad and supply water for industrial use to Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda and Rangareddy districts.
The Rs 10,000 crore Dindi project, which will also lift water from Srisailam reservoir, is expected to irrigate 3.5 lakh acres and provide drinking water in fluoride-affected Nalgonda.