Ponnala- In defence of River Diversion

Ponnala advocacy on Pothireddypadu
Tuesday, Jan 09, 2007
Ponnala’s challenge on Pothireddypadu
Special Correspondent


HYDERABAD: Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah has offered to share a common platform for a debate to disprove charges made by critics against increase in discharge capacity of Pothireddypadu head-regulator of Srisailam dam. He has said that he is prepared to resign from the Cabinet if their charges are proved otherwise, they must quit their positions.
Condemning the charges levelled by Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K. Chandrasekhara Rao and T. Devender Goud of the Telugu Desam describing the capacity hike as an attempt to illegally divert Krishna waters to Rayalaseema at the cost of the Telangana, he said on Monday that he would prove them “wrong and untrue”.
He said the contention of Congress MLAs P. Janardhan Reddy and M. Shashidhar Reddy that the proposal would deprive Hyderabad of its drinking water from the river too was false.
Mr. Lakshmaiah said all these leaders were trying to whip up regional passions, each for his own political gain. “It is a case of sentiments, emotions and politics” overtaking “truth, fact and logic”. If they came for a debate, he would provide the truths to the people and unravel the motives behind their sinister campaign.
“As an engineer from Telangana who has studied the issue in depth”, he said increase in capacity, in no way, would affect the Telangana region or the twin cities. He said the criticism against the proposal was unwarranted as it was finalised at an all-party meeting. The meeting, in fact, had also endorsed allotment of 10 tmcft to Anantapur from the dam out of the river’s flood waters and, accordingly, cleared the increase in discharge capacity to 44,000 cusecs from 40,000 cusecs.


Sunday, Oct 09, 2005
Minister defends order
Special Correspondent
HYDERABAD: Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah on Saturday explained that the Government had decided on increasing the capacity of Pothireddypadu only for removing certain infrastructure bottlenecks.
Addressing a press conference after he was unable to reply to the debate in the Assembly, issue, Mr. Lakshmaiah said there was no need for any apprehensions as the State was duty-bound to protect the interests of the farmers in Krishna delta and Nagarjunasagar canals besides fulfilling the drinking water needs.
On the fears over utilisation of floodwater, he said clear-cut guidelines were framed in the Government Order of June 15, 1996. “The Government is well within its means in using floodwaters for parched areas.” Nobody could violate these orders and the Government had all the powers to proceed against such violations. The TDP was sowing seed of disharmony among different regions, to meet its political ends, he alleged.
TRS on warpath
Meanwhile, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti announced its decision to intensify its agitation against the Government’s move to increase the discharge capacity of Pothireddypadu.
Party leaders vowed to educate the people about the Government’s designs to deprive Telangana of its share of Krishna water by increasing the regulator’s capacity. They were speaking to reporters near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue on the Assembly premises where they had squatted, raising slogans against the Government’s move to deprive Telangana of its due share.


APCC chief holds meet on Pothireddypadu
Special Correspondent
Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah makes power point presentation

ON THE OFFENSIVE: Legislator Marri Shashidhar Reddy having a word with PCC vice-president K.R. Amos in Hyderabad on Tuesday as P. Janardhan Reddy, MLA, looks on. — Photo: K. Ramesh Babu
HYDERABAD: APCC president K. Keshava Rao convened a meeting of party leaders here on Tuesday to discuss the controversy over the increase in the height of Pothireddypadu head regulator to draw water from the Krishna.
At the meeting at Gandhi Bhavan, Major Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah made a power point presentation to the party leaders who included P. Janardhan Reddy, M. Sashidhar Reddy, MLAs, V. Hanumantha Rao, MP, M. Kodanda Reddy, Palvai Goverdhan Reddy and P.Narasa Reddy, APCC leaders.
Sources said Mr. Janardhan Reddy and Mr. Sashidhar Reddy stuck to their demand for stopping work on the Pothireddypadu forthwith on the ground that it would jeopardise the interests of Telangana. Mr. Hanumantha Rao reportedly expressed concern over the fate of Nalgonda farmers if the height of the head regulator was increased.
Mr. Lakshmaiah explained that the new regulator was designed for drawal of only 44,000 cusecs of water when the Srisailam project was at 880 feet. On Mr. Janardhan Reddy’s demand that a weir be constructed at 880 feet, Mr. Lakshmaiah said this was not feasible on the foreshore of the river. Construction of a weir at such a height was expensive, he reportedly pointed out, adding that it would result in submergence of some areas in Kurnool town and also the Kurnool-Vijayawada State Highway.
On the doubts about the adverse impact on supply of drinking water to the twin cities, the Minister clarified that there would be no problem. As per the national water policy, supply of drinking water gets top priority, he said and added that drinking water schemes had priority over floodwater based schemes


Author: kattashekar

Editor, Namasthe Telangana Daily, Hyderabad

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