The political bonhomie between K Chandrasekhar Rao and Jaganmohan Reddy that began much before the 2019 elections has had its first tiff. Telangana is upset that Andhra Pradesh has reportedly withdrawn more water than its allocated quota from the Srisailam project. It lodged a complaint with the Krishna River Management Board against its neighbour.
The angst is over the Rayalaseema lift irrigation project withdrawing 3 TMC feet from Pothireddypadu scheme from Krishna river. Telangana alleges that the Andhra move is for an illegal project and violates the AP Reorganisation Act 2014. At the heart of the issue is the contention that Srisailam reservoir is a common project and neither state can initiate any additional diversion of water without consulting the other. The fear is that this diversion would affect drinking water supply to Hyderabad and also Mission Bhagiratha drinking water scheme in other districts.
Jagan however, has denied any violation of rules, saying Andhra Pradesh was only making use of surplus floodwater. Asking Telangana to look at the issue from a humanitarian angle, Jagan said the water needs of Rayalaseema districts as well as Nellore and Prakasam districts had to be met.
The two chief ministers had held several meetings last year in Hyderabad and Amaravati to discuss political issues as well as those pertaining to irrigation in the past. Jagan even made it a point to be present at the inaugural of the Kaleshwaram irrigation project. A phone call is perhaps all it would take to settle the dispute instead of washing dirty linen in public.