Telengana’s water grouse

Krishna
Author(s): Bharat Lal Seth
Date:Feb 29, 2012

Regional disparity in allocation of Krishna water in Andhra Pradesh is both because of politics and topography, finds Bharat Lal Seth

For the past four decades Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have been jostling for a share of the Krishna river waters. A tribunal formed to set the legal limit on how much water each state can use, submitted its provisional award in December 2010, which is presently being contested by all three states. Each is seeking to enhance its allocated share. But the dispute is not just between these states. The fight for a share of the Krishna waters can be witnessed within Andhra Pradesh, too.

Half the water allocation from the Krishna is to areas outside the river basin, admit officials in the Andhra Pradesh irrigation department. This iniquitous distribution has led to protests from the pro-Telengana supporters and those within the river basin whose land is a collection and run-off point for the Krishna. Political parties were formed to pursue separate statehood for Telengana region in 1969, the same year the first Krishna water dispute tribunal was formed. Almost 69 per cent of the Krishna river’s catchment in Andhra Pradesh lies in the Telengana region. Yet, the region at best gets a fifth of the Krishna waters.

Delta farmers get preference

Parties fighting for separate statehood argue they are getting the short-shrift because they are living in a larger state with entrenched political interests. “For instance, in the first week of June, water is released for delta farmers. It is in the same agro-climatic region (as Telangana), but see the blatant preference. The delta people, outside the basin, get water at the right time. Many of us in the Telengana region get water in August,” says K R Parcha, a farmer. “Paddy’s physiological cycle is in sync with the season. So if paddy is transplanted in July, you get five to seven tonnes per hectare. If this is done in August, you cannot get more than four tonnes. It is clear that we are on the wrong side of the political spectrum,” he adds. The preferential treatment helps delta farmers cultivate two to three crops each year. No wonder, it is known as the granary of Andhra Pradesh, remarks Parcha, who has been farming for the past 30 years. Telengana region

Farmers in the coastal areas, outside the river basin, have been using the waters of the Krishna for more than a century. The water is supplied through an extensive network of canals planned by Sir Arthur Cotton and other British engineers in the 19th century. The irrigated area in the Krishna delta grew leaps and bounds in the 20th century. The first tribunal which gave its award in 1976, allocated 51.2 million cubic metre (mcm) water to the Krishna delta, but the utilisation is well above this (see table: ‘Over-utlisation of waters in the Krishna delta’).
Over utilisation of waters in the Krishna delta
Year Kharif
*Acres Rabi Acres Total in Acres *Water utilized in TMC
1941-1942 9,87,690 3,884 10,26,574 161.91
1967-1968 11,83,463 4,83,950 16,67,413 285.00
1968-1969 11,87,194 4,90,468 16,77,662 275.00
2006-2007 13,60,000 4,30,000 17,90,000 295.00
* One acre equals 0.4 ha * 1 tmc equals 0.283 mcm
Source: Irrigation department

On the other hand, the irrigation systems in Telengana have been suffering for want of of adequate flows, says Vidyasagar Rao, former chief engineer of the Central Water Commission. According to Rao, the tanks irrigated 453,248 hectares (ha) in 1955-56, which has dwindled to less than a third—151,874 ha. The total loss of wealth of Telengana after formation of Andhra Pradesh works out to Rs 3,24,000 crore, says Rao. He explains that each thousand million cubic feet (tmc) or 0.28 mcm water can irrigate 2,428 ha of paddy. Therefore, each 0.28 mcm of wa Telengana region ter will, on an average, produce 240,000 bags of paddy or Rs 30 crore per 0.28 mcm a year.

Water lift schemes in disuse

The higher elevation in some basins means such areas cannot be supplied water through gravity flows. In the case of the Krishna, the Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar dams serve the command areas restricted to lower levels within the basin. Development in the delta took place earlier, be it the Nile or the Ganga, since initially development was oriented strongly in favour of gravity flow canals, due to the economic considerations and the cost of pumping, says Hanumantha Rao, former engineer-in-chief of the Andhra Pradesh irrigation department.

“Therefore, topography is the culprit for regional disparity, although I’m not denying that politics has a role in it. To set it right, pumping schemes from lower to higher levels have been initiated in the post-Independence era in the Krishna basin. Their long-term viability is questionable, though. “The operations and maintenance per crop is approximately Rs 35,000 per acre (0.4 ha). This is a liability for farmers/government to bear, and they easily fall into disuse,” says Hanumantha Rao. According to the Irrigation Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh, around 45 per cent of small lift irrigation schemes (<2000 ha command area) are in a state of disuse.

Had Telengana been a separate state before the constitution of the first tribunal (Bachawat Tribunal), it is argued that 68.5 per cent of the water allocated to Andhra would have been given to Telengana. The first tribunal allocated a mere 34.5 per cent (half its rightful share as per catchment contribution) from Krishna, says Rao. A further allocation was made available subsequently during the post Bachawat award period; Telengana region is allocated 83.16 mcm of the Krishna waters.

Promises not kept

“Today, more than 1.7 million farmers in the Telengana region depend on groundwater for agriculture, and have invested Rs 25,000 crore of their own money in motors and pump sets. The burden of heavy expenditure on this account is leading to high number of farm suicides in Telengana,” says Rao. Telengana, a major part of the erstwhile Hyderabad State, had irrigation facility for a minimum of 736,528 ha through major medium and minor irrigation projects. After the merger in November 1956, Andhra at the time had 835,676 ha under irrigation. Andhra leaders promised Telengana people that they would be brought at par, but after more than five decades, irrigation potential remains around the same, while Andhra region has increased its irrigation potential three times to around 2.8 million ha, says Rao.

Officials in the irrigation department disagree. “There is no truth to this; everyone is being treated equally,” says N K Satyanarayan, officer on special duty. Topography has historically been a a decisive factor, he adds.

It is believed by pro-Telengana commentators that the British subjugated coastal areas and wanted to extend benefits to the coastal communities. The lower riparian rights of people in the delta were supported, advocated and protected by the British. At that time there was unhindered flow. But greater demand led to conflict and politics did not allow for river basin integrity. The arrangement continued after Independence as the water-endowed farmers became the producers of wealth and the delta rice millers funded political parties, says Parcha.

The proposal to divert the Krishna waters to the Pennar valley to the South, was mooted during the British rule by Sir Arthur Cotton and Colonel Ellis. A canal network was built to provide irrigation to areas in the Pennar basin. The canal is perhaps the first inter-basin transfer of water in India, and serves 18,211 ha within the Krishna basin and 94,292 ha in Pennar valley. “The fact that in-basin use should be given priority is a good argument from a riparian point of view. I agree that Telengana should be given first priority over Pennar basin. But this is easier said than done, with a complex interplay of techno-economic feasibility and politics,” says Hanumantha Rao.
Helsinki Rules

The relevant factors which are to be considered include, but are not limited to:

The geography of the basin, including in particular the extent of the drainage area in the territory of each basin state;
The hydrology of the basin, including in particular the contribution of water by each basin state;
Climate affecting the basin;
Past utilisation of the waters of the basin, including in particular existing utilisation
Economic and social needs of each basin state
The population dependent on the waters of the basin in each basin state
The comparative costs of alternative means of satisfying the economic and social needs of each basin state
Availability of other resources
Avoidance of unnecessary waste in the utilization of waters of the basin
Practicability of compensation to one or more of the co-basin States as a means of adjusting conflicts among uses
The degree to which the needs of a basin state may be satisfied, without causing substantial injury to a co-basin state

Tribunal’s dilemma

The present tribunal, led by Brijesh Kumar, a retired Supreme Court judge, put its foot down on diversions outside the basin. The provisional award categorically emphasised that in-basin needs need to be prioritised over out-of-basin requirements. The tribunal used the principle of equitable apportionment, but there is no fixed formula for this. The Helsinki Rules on the uses of the waters of international rivers, an international guideline adopted by the International Law Association, sets guidelines in usage of a river basin waters (see ‘Helsinki Rules’). The Bachawat tribunal mentioned that the weight to be given to a factor, as given in the Helsinki Rules, is a matter of judgment and that no hard and fast rule can be laid down.

The Berlin Rules on Water Resources, adopted by the International Law Association in 2004, superseded the Helsinki Rules to include those river basins shared amongst states within a nation. It mandated that the first consideration in weighing needs must satisfy the requirements of human beings for water to sustain life. Regardless of the location of water, and whether or not a water resource is shared, the Berlin Rules asserted the right of every individual to equally access water to sustain life without discrimination.

In Andhra Pradesh, it was assured that farms spread over 1.1 million ha within the Krishna basin would get access to irrigation water. Approximately 3.8 million ha within the basin still does not have irrigation facility, of which 25 per cent is proposed to be included in the present tribunal, according to government sources. Under the first tribunal, nearly one million ha for assured irrigation was included outside the basin, and 1.3 million ha is proposed for irrigation with Krishna water, again more than that proposed for those living within the river basin.

According to the irrigation department, the entire area in the river basin and the areas outside the basin that need to be served with Krishna water are either arid or semi-arid and therefore, providing irrigation facilities is necessary for sustaining agriculture. These areas receive low rainfall and the availability of groundwater is not adequate and in some areas it is also not fit for drinking purposes, being brackish, saline or contaminated with fluoride, say department officials. According to a 2008 report: “Many farmers, numbering in hundreds have committed suicide, unable to bear the financial losses, as the crops grown by them were successively withering, since the bore wells failed to yield enough water for agriculture.”

“Intra-basin use should take precedence over inter-basin transfers (assuming that these are needed at all), but if the states in a dispute have plans for inter-basin transfers, the right course would be to include them in their submissions to the tribunal, so that the tribunal can take a view on them in making allocations,” says Ramaswamy Iyer, former secretary, ministry of water resources (see table: ‘Disparity in utilisation of allocated waters of Krishna river’).
Disparity in utilisation of allocated waters of Krishna river
Rayalseema AP Telengana Total
Allocation 107TMC 43.5 77 227.5
47.00% 19.10% 33.80%
% of catchment Use 18.4 13.1 68.5
Outside basin Outside basin Within basin

Region Allocation % Max use Average Use Catchment sq km %
Rayalseema 146 18 155.32 116.15 5,414 18.4
Andhra 369.74 45.6 703.82 511.98 3,860 13.1
Telengana 295.26 36.4 241 198.32 20,167 68.5
Source: Irrigation department (1977-78 to 2007-08)

Karnataka made no submissions for inter-basin transfers. Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh made several project submissions requiring inter-basin transfers, which the Bachawat tribunal permitted. The tribunal however added: “future uses requiring diversion of water outside the basin are relevant, but more weight may be given to uses requiring diversion of water inside the basin”.

The judges of the tribunal are handicapped; which principle should one use to appropriate water. “To this day, the problem remains,” says Parcha. There will always be conflict since the Constitution remains silent on it. “Political interests are well entrenched, and nobody at any cost will loosen their grip on water,” he adds. “River basin boundaries are sacrosanct and basin rights are absolute, above the country’s Constitution and laws. The moment we recognise, accept and respect this, all present and future inter-basin and intra-basin problems can be solved or completely avoided,” adds Parcha.

Courtesy Down to Earth

Farmers suicides looming large in Andhra and Telangana

Andhra Media half truths

Hyderabad: Debt trap, drought, water and power issues driving the farmers in both Andhra and Telangana to tge death trap. According to social organisations working on farming sector, estimated that about 500 farmers died of suicides so far this year, in both Andhra and Telangana states.

But media is hiding the figures from Andhra and reporting nothing from that state and day in and day out crying foul in Telangana. Andhra media is doing a campaign that as if sucides are new and xaused by Telangana Government. They did not reported a single farmer suicide from Andhra Pradesh.

But the fact is suicides in Ananthapur are equally heartening. Here is the story and the list of suicides of farmers and textile workers in Ananthapur. AndhraPradesh Government is hiding the deaths of farmers. Andhra media is intentionally publishing the suicide reports in local pages.

When a reporter cantacted a Communist leader from Ananthapur, he said that he dont have any information on suicides. After publishing this report in Namasthe Telangana, he was shocked to know tge situation. Such is the media role. Where as same media in Telangana, trying to paint Telangana Government, a failure.

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Irrelevant and incongruous TDP

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TDP Supremo Chandrababu Naidu seems to be disturbed nowadays. He says ‘if one leaders leaves the party, he will make hundred leaders’. And also speaks about ethics. But he conveniently ignores what he is doing to YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh? What if same dialogues repeated by Jaganmohan Reddy on Chandrababu?

The problem is Chandrababu’s failure to understand the changed political equations of two states. Time and again he is reminding the danger of TDP returning to power in Telangana in future. He is spewing his venom, through his trusted dogs, on new born Telangana establishment.

He is not realised that he lost his locus standi in Telangana, by championing Andhrapradesh Cause. He and his party became irrelevant and incongruous in Telangana, by its nature and its advocacy of Andhra cause and also dominated by Andhra establishment.

Though the governments were not fully formed in both states, due to non allocation of officers and staff, TDP and BJP Telangana leaders loosing their tempers and causing lot of heart burn among Telangana people. They were attacking like trained jacks.

This approach of TDP is provoking TRS to dump it permanently. Cheif Minister K.Chandrashekar Rao is trying to weave a fine political fabric for future Telangana. He is implementing an inclusive approach to various social groups in Telangana.

And also he wants to finish of the political remnants of old establishment in Telangana. No thread of Andhra lineage to be continued in Telangana, KCR theorises. Ethically it may not sound right, but politically it is the foundation for success of New state.

The leaders who plays to the tunes of Chandrababu or Venkaiah Naidu cannot serve the people ofTelangana, he argues. Telangana leaders must function inline with ethos of Telangana people.

SC refuses to stay Centre’s notification on Telangana creation

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi | May 5, 2014 2:53 pm

Courtesy The Nation

index

Telangana: Centre gets Supreme Court notice
SC junks pleas challenging division
No stay on tabling of Telangana Bill: SC

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to stay the central government’s notification on creation of Telangana after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. A bench led by Justice H L Dattu said that no interim order can be passed in a matter like this and the parties will have to wait for final hearing.

The court said that it will take into account all alleged violations of Constitutional provisions while hearing the matter in August and will not dither from issuing any orders if the notification was found illegal.

The bench was hearing a bunch of petitions that have challenged the government’s January notification, proposing creation of Telangana. The petitions have claimed that no such notification could have been issued since the Andhra assembly had unanimously rejected the proposed bill for bifurcation the state.

Mangalagiri the capital for Seemandhra?

By Sumit Bhattacharjee
The Hindu
March 22, 23:07:49

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The government is mulling over building a new capital of residuary Andhra Pradesh in the forest land close to Mangalagiri, if indications from the government are to be believed.
A highly placed source in the government said a secret dossier from the Secretariat has been sent to the Ministry of Forest and Environment for declassification of forest land close or Mangalagiri, located between Vijayawada and Guntur.

Location of capital city for Andhra Pradesh has been a bone of contention ever since the issue of State bifurcation gained momentum. Leaders and prominent citizens from respective districts marketed their regions.

But, according to sources, the groundwork to find a capital city began at least two months before the A.P. Reorganisation Bill was actually tabled in the Parliament and now, the place has almost been finalised.

In total, Guntur district has 1,34,420 hectares of forest land, one among the highest in the State, and a major portion of it falls under degraded and rock outcrop categories. A small portion of about 2,250 hectares near Nizamapatnam has been earmarked as mangroves, said the District Forest Officer of Guntur K. Lohitasyudu.

The total extent of the forest land at Mangalagiri block under Tadepalli reserve is about 485 hectares, and it is believed that this is being targeted for declassification to host the new capital.

With the region’s close proximity to both the cities of Vijayawada and Guntur, this could be the chosen area, said Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) core committee member J.S.R.K. Prasad.

Earlier in 1960, about 214 acres of forest land in this region was declassified for setting up of T.B. sanatorium and over 180 acres was declassified to establish the 6 Andhra Pradesh Special Police battalion headquarters with firing range.

The national highway cuts through this forest land and Acharya Nagarjuna University. There is also a proposal to occupy the ANU campus as part of the capital project.

Agreeing that the region was in focus even since the new capital discussion began, former Rajya Sabha member from Guntur, Yalamanchili Sivaji, however said, “I don’t understand why the government needs land in hectares when the entire capital infrastructure can be covered in 50 to 60 acres”.

Courtesy The Hindu

In India, Why Telangana?

March 11, 2014

By: A. Muthukrishnan

Telangana is a reality today, but why was Telangana inevitable, what sustained the strong commitment of the people through this 50 year long struggle? The Telangana Movement will go down in History as one of the longest successful struggles of modern India. This article travels into the roots of this great struggle.

This article seems to based on Sujai Karampuri write up. See the link below:

http://sujaiblog.blogspot.in/2009/12/case-for-telangana.html

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The people of Telangana have fought for the creation of a new state for themselves for nearly 60 years now. This legitimate fight for the creation of a new state with Hyderabad as its capital, within the legal confines of Indian Constitution, has had a voice since the time of Indian Independence.

see the link below:

http://bravenewworld.in/2014/03/11/india-telangana/
In 1948, right after Indian Independence, the Indian Army entered the region to liberate the people of Telangana as part of Hyderabad State from the Nizam’s Rule. The newly formed Hyderabad State was a separate entity in the Indian Union and had its elections in 1953 prior to the formation of Andhra Pradesh in 1956.

Meanwhile, another region next to Telangana, called Andhra, was keen on fighting for its own state separate from the Tamil people. Fearing that most of the newly created jobs and opportunities would be taken up by Tamils since Tamils were more educated and had better access to opportunities, and also citing the reasons that Andhras would not be well represented in the Tamil dominated Madras Presidency, Andhra people launched a protest. Potti Sriramulu of Andhra region went on a hunger strike in Madras for 58 days and died fighting for the creation of a separate state out of Madras Presidency called Andhra State with Madras as its capital.

After his death, the Central Government in New Delhi conceded to his first demand – that of creation of the Andhra State – but it rejected his other demand. Madras became the capital of the new Tamil State instead of the Andhra State. Contrary to the widely spread misconception, Potti Sriramulu fought for political aspirations of the Andhra people of Madras Presidency and not the Telangana people of the Hyderabad State.

The people of Andhra, having lost Madras to Tamils, looked for an alternative city for its capital and eyed the glorious city of Hyderabad. Using the slogan that Telugu is the binding factor for both the regions, they renewed their fight to include Telangana into their new dream of Vishalandhra. The People of Telangana had a different opinion – they didn’t think it was a wise move. Telangana people were educated in Urdu under the Nizam while the Andhra people were educated in Telugu and English under the British. The opportunities that sprung up in the new India clearly gave preference to English and Telugu. During 1948-1952, though Hyderabad was a different state ruled by civil administrators, there was heavy influx of Andhra people into Telangana to take up newly opening positions in the new India. Hyderabad city saw the first waves of protests against joining with the New Andhra Pradesh in 1956.

But the prevailing mood in the country was already set for creation of states along linguistic lines. Potti Sriramulu’s death and the Andhra people’s demand for creation of a state on linguistic basis led to creation of the first State Reorganization Committee (SRC) in India. Though Nehru was averse to this idea, many new states got formed in India on the basis of language. Kerala and Karnataka got formed immediately. Telangana was clubbed with the Andhra State to form the new Andhra Pradesh though Fazal Ali of the First SRC clearly expressed reservations against clubbing together the two regions that were unequal partners. In his recommendations he went on to say that Telangana could go separate if the union of these regions did not work out.

To protect the interests of Telangana that was recognized by everyone as one of the most backward and illiterate regions, where bonded labor and zamindari system was rampant, many ‘Gentleman’s Agreements’ were made by leaders of Andhra to ensure that the new opportunities in Telangana region benefitted native Telangana people. Actually, there was already a system – called Mulki – in place to take care of such representations which was practiced by the erstwhile Nizam who had three regions under him – Telangana, Kannada and Maratha. These rules allowed certain portions of jobs to be given to people of that region only. The agreements between Andhra and Telangana leaders included following Mulki rules in the new state.

Unfortunately for the Telangana people, all the clauses of these ‘Gentleman’s Agreements’ were immediately flouted. Illegally, thousands of Andhra people were given top jobs in Telangana region. This resulted in mass migration when these top honchos coming from Andhra started to fill other positions with their kith and kin flouting all the guidelines that were established and agreed upon. In fact, it would require no keen observation to notice that millions of Andhra people have migrated to Telangana region, while only a negligible number of Telangana people have migrated to Andhra region.

The fact that Telangana voted minority and opposition Communist parties during this time to the State Assembly against the majority and ruling Congress party of Andhra didn’t help the Telangana’s cause. With Indira Gandhi in power, the states became puppets and the Congress became all-powerful. Dissident causes were suppressed ruthlessly. When the States Reorganisation Act of 1956 was clearly violated by the Andhras, the Telangana people launched an agitation in 1969 demanding a separate state. It was overwhelmingly crushed by Indira Gandhi who was in no mood for formation of new states. Thousands were arrested and put in jail while 350 people protestors were killed in police shootings. Indira Gandhi did not allow splitting of states during her entire regime.

When their agitation was ruthlessly suppressed, the Telangana people took the electoral route in 1971. They launched a new party called Telangana Praja Samiti (TPS) and got 11 out of 12 Lok Sabha seats clearly indicating the mood of the people for bifurcation of the state. Indira Gandhi, who was at the peak of her power then, called the leader of TPS, Channa Reddy and effected a merger of his party with the Congress and made him the Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh. However, as a concession, an All-Party Agreement of 1969 was arrived at, to protect the interests of Telangana.

Those agreed upon formulas were immediately flouted by the Andhra people. This left the Telangana people with no other means but to take the legal route. Their objections were upheld by the Supreme Court which asked Andhras to vacate the positions that were illegally acquired.

That’s when the Andhra people, who knew that Indira Gandhi was dead against the formation of new states, blackmailed Indira Gandhi, demanding a new state for themselves in 1973. Now, the same Andhra people deride the Telangana Movement calling it divisive politics. Indira Gandhi’s government, in a clear display of partisan and discriminatory practices, overturned the Supreme Court ruling, thereby clearly establishing how the majority Andhra can always snub and suppress the minority Telangana in the state Assembly. This continues till today as clearly evidenced by the recent episode where all Andhra and Rayalaseema MLAs resigned en masse from the Assembly on the Telangana issue clearly indicating to all observers that no resolution on Telangana will pass through since they comprise the majority.

Such practices of slighting all the promises continued. G.O. 36 of 1969 that promised to position Telangana people in 25,000 posts that were illegally occupied by Andhra people remains unfulfilled to date. During 1973 and 1985 nearly 60,000 illegal positions were awarded to Andhra people in the Telangana region. To rectify this, G.O. 610 was introduced in 1985 with a promise to enforce it within a year, but continues to be unimplemented in spite of repeated demands. Telangana people are left with no options – they have tried the electoral, democratic and legal routes – all of them failed. The current democratic setup does not work for minority when the leaders are clearly aligned along partisan lines.

Nagarjuna Sagar dam lies in the Telangana region. While the original plan included two canals, one to arid and dry Telangana, and the other to the fertile and inundated Andhra region, only one canal was constructed towards Andhra region, while Telangana continued to remain arid, dry and impoverished. All the recommendations that urged the government to construct the new canal were struck down by the majority and partisan Andhra leaders. The coal mines and power plant of Singareni lie in Telangana region, but the backward districts of Telangana get no power from these projects. There are thousands of villages and towns in Telangana, where only two hours of electricity is supplied during the entire summer season, while people of Andhra experience just small inconveniences. Out of 10 government medical colleges in Andhra Pradesh, only one exists in Telangana while 7 of them are based in Andhra-Rayalaseema. Examples abound. The discrimination is apparent in irrigation, in industry, in roads, in canals, in dams, in energy distribution, in education and in employment.

There has been consistent and methodical discrimination against people of Telangana for all these years. The newer generation of Andhra and Rayalaseema which had no role in this discrimination finds it hard to understand why Telangana people protest for a new state. They have absolutely no idea as to what happened in the past and see the present situation in isolation and conclude that Telangana people are brainwashed by their wily and cunning politicians.

Many people discredit Telangana movement by sullying its leaders. They believe that this movement is a product of petty politicians’ agenda to usurp power. They believe that this cause was invented by politicians to serve their purpose.

They don’t realize that the Telangana Movement is a mass movement and a historical movement going back sixty years and is beyond political parties and their agendas. The sentiment is deep and most administrators, bureaucrats, government employees, school teachers, professors, miners, bankers, intellectuals and scientists support the Telangana cause and seek separation. The Telangana cause is not a result of politicians brainwashing its people, but instead a just cause of Telangana people who have been betrayed by politicians again and again. Even now, people of Telangana rally and support only those leaders who are committed to the cause of Telangana. The day these leaders stop supporting this cause, they will abandon them, like they did when they voted out TRS in 2009 because they did not uphold their promise of delivering a new state. This fight for a separate state is a legitimate one and has an expression in Indian politics which is flawed.

Detractors of the Telangana movement are worried about the status of Hyderabad. No logical observer would conclude that Hyderabad can be separated from Telangana. It is linked to Telangana historically, culturally and geographically. Telangana with Hyderabad as its capital joined Andhra State with Kurnool as its capital to create Andhra Pradesh in 1956. Asking for Hyderabad from Telangana is like Gujarat asking for Mumbai in 1960 just because Gujaratis have invested a lot into Mumbai. Being cosmopolitan does not warrant a Union Territory status either. Mumbai continues to be the financial capital of India, continues to be cosmopolitan, is home to many migrants and settlers but still belongs to people of that region. In the same way, Hyderabad will continue to belong to people of Telangana and will continue to thrive as a cosmopolitan city, as a home to many settlers from different parts of the country including those from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions.
Conclusion

The history of Telangana after India’s Independence is riddled with false promises and betrayals. Telangana remains marginalized, reduced to being a minority in their own state, victim of partisan politics, inept democracy and a flawed legal system. Telangana remains backward, in education, in agriculture, in industry, in infrastructure, in employment, and in prosperity. Even today, Telangana people are discriminated against, in their own region. They are seen as inferior, lazy and illiterate. Even the Telangana dialect is ridiculed and its speakers are the butt of many demeaning jokes.

The people of Telangana have a distinct culture, a different history and a different temperament in addition to different social and economic status. When one state has two economically and culturally different regions, one being prosperous and the other backward, if corrective measures are not taken to uplift that backward region, there is a great danger of only the prosperous region getting all the attention, funding, new industries, canals, and opportunities, while the people of backward region keep losing out in their own region. When such a condition prevails far too long, strong corrective measures are to be taken, and if they do not work, a new state is one of the best solutions. A separate Telangana is an eventuality. Prolonging this outcome will only increase the animosity of Telangana people towards those who oppose it. We have already witnessed many such protests in Telangana. Delaying this eventuality will only cause more pain to the region and will not bode well for the future of the two states which share the same language. The people of Andhra and Rayalaseema should welcome this aspiration of the Telangana people, accord it the due respect and make way for a new Telangana.

This year in June the state of Andra Pradesh and Telengana will be a reality.

About the author: A. Muthukrishnan is a writer, traveller and activist who resides in Madurai, India.

AP Reorganisation Act Just Ensures Andhra Domination

By Adithya Krishna Chintapanti – HYDERABAD
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Published: 03rd March 2014 09:23 AM

http://www.newindianexpress.com/states/andhra_pradesh/AP-Reorganisation-Act-Just-Ensures-Andhra-Domination/2014/03/03/article2087560.ece#.UxQIVc6HPgE

Accessed 3.3.14

An analysis of the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, through its points of divergence from the standard legislative format for state creation, reveals that the political intent was to reconstitute the systems and processes of united Andhra Pradesh. This involves two strategies. First, linking the macro institutional processes at the highest levels by having a common Governor and High Court for an indeterminate period of time for the successor States. Second, it replicates administrative and institutional arrangements of the united state. This results in undermining the political autonomy of the Telangana state, subjecting the region’s internal processes to the renewed influence of the Seemandhra region/state, replicating the very processes which lead to the demand for a separate state.

Common Governor: The Act envisages a common Governor for both states for such period as may be determined by the President. This would mean that a single individual would be privy to the internal working of the governments of both the states–externally in terms of communications to the Union government and internally with regard to the Cabinet briefings. This leads to continuation of the present system of political coordination through the institution of the Governor in the united State; only that these informal political arrangements are now formalised by statute.

Common High Court: The Act states that the High Court in Hyderabad shall be the common High Court for the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana till the establishment of a High Court for Andhra Pradesh. Though it speaks about the establishment of High Court of Andhra Pradesh, there is no specific time-line given for the transition. Under ordinary circumstances, this should not raise eyebrows as similar large states like Punjab and Haryana also share a common High Court. What is of concern is the high level of politicisation and regional division of the higher judiciary and the Bar Association in Andhra Pradesh. Also judges from Telangana are numerically/disproportionately smaller (in terms of population ratios) in contrast to judges from Andhra Pradesh, owing to systemic exclusion in the joint judiciary. Given the same, having a common High Court does not appear to be a credible prospect.

River Management: Inter-state river management boards are not a new phenomenon in case of state reorganisation. However, the establishment of an apex council for the river systems of Krishna and Godavari, consisting of the chief ministers of successor states and coordinated by the Central minister of water resources may end up depoliticising issues pertaining to water allocation, by making coordination which is subject to power play as the rule, as opposed to contestation in a court of law, which is an equitable course of action for a politically weaker state. The clause that deems Telangana’s consent for the highly controversial Polavaram Irrigation Project on river Godavari not only raises questions about its legality but is also symptomatic of the irrelevance of Telangana’s stand on inter-state water sharing under the proposed apex council mechanism.

Control of Companies: Like most states, the government-led developmental work in Andhra Pradesh is executed through government companies and corporations. The Ninth Schedule to the Reorganisation Act includes 44 companies providing key infrastructural facilities. These operate in sectors such as housing, transportation, electricity generation, transmission and distribution, industrial development and others. The present Reorganisation Act has an overriding (“notwithstanding”) clause which allows the Central government to issue directions regarding the division of interest and shares of the existing state of Andhra Pradesh in the company or corporation between the successor states.

It also provides for reconstitution of the board of directors of state-owned companies or corporations so as to give adequate representation to the successor states. The population ratio of Andhra Pradesh to Telangana, based on 2011 census is around 60:40. If the principle of division as per population ratios is to be applied, then the successor state of Andhra Pradesh with nearly 60 percent population of the united State, is bound to emerge as the majority shareholder and have greater numerical representation on the board of directors, effectively being able to steer the mandate of these companies and corporations. This would imply that Andhra Pradesh would continue to dictate the developmental and infrastructural priorities and decisions pertaining to allocation of financial resources towards the same. Unlike other state reorganisation statutes, there is no time frame for incorporation of new Companies and corporations in the successor states and effecting a complete division of assets and liabilities.

The Act only decouples the legislative processes, presenting it as the “be all and end all” of Telangana statehood. Its provisions clearly undermine the internal self-determinative processes of Telangana by subjecting them to external surveillance, interference and subversion, through institutional arrangements reconstituting united Andhra Pradesh.

(The author is a Ph.D scholar in law, University of Warwick, United Kingdom. email: adithya_k@yahoo.com)