By: Pittala Ravinder, Coordinator, TJAC
Some top leaders from Andhra region are floating rumors that the formation of Telangana might lead to intense water conflicts. They are also raising meaningless arguments about Hyderabad city. Their arguments are baseless and illogical. In fact the demerger of Telangana will not create any contentious problems regarding water sharing between Andhra and Telangana states due to the following reasons:
a) The water allocations for Telangana were clearly decided prior to the merger, so there is no ambiguity or confusion on modalities and process of establishing the share of Telangana
b) River basin-wise too there are allocations for each project existing and under construction. Water rights were established before and after merger. It facilitates resolution of any such issues that may crop up at any point of time
c) Hydrologically Andhra state has certain advantages in the Godavari basin.
The unique configuration of the catchment areas of Godavari, allows it a greater portion of the river water. Two major tributaries of the river Godavari, Indravati and Sabari, bring massive water in the last 100 km stretch of the river. In any case, no water can be tapped from these two tributaries for Telangana region since these tributaries flow 40 to 75 mtr above the sea level. No storage reservoirs can be constructed below the confluence of Indravathi and at best water diversion schemes alone are possible that too above the confluence of Sabari, for the utilization of the excess flow of water. Even after the diversion schemes more than sufficient water will be available to Andhra region. In any case Telangana cannot use Sabari waters.
d) Water allocation in Krishna basin is pretty much over and whatever Andhra region can use is being already used. The division is no way makes any difference to the Andhra state.
e) Formation of Telangana state, will not affect the water rights of Andhra state. If there are any, they can be easily addressed with agreements and joint management mechanisms – particularly for the joint projects such as Nagarjuna Sagar and Srisailam dams.
f) By desperately bringing the water wars argument, some politicians from Andhra want to continue their political domination, and exploitation of Telangana region. If Telangana state is not established soon enough, surely there will be a war like situation between Andhra and Telangana.
Apprehensions on Hyderabad
Whenever the issue of Telangana State is debated, the AP state capital Hyderabad remains the main contention. The argument by Andhra intellectuals goes like … Hyderabad has been developed by investments from Andhra businessmen during the last fifty years of united Andhra Pradesh. They always express a fear that their economic interests would suffer in the State of Telangana. Without going into the merits of these arguments, we would like to place the following facts on record:
The city of Hyderabad is widely known for its tolerant attitude and composite culture. This culture is a result of the interactions and amalgamations of many people, languages and their ways of living. Even today, Hyderabad is the only city in South India that is a home to people from many parts of our country.
This culture is also manifested in the ongoing agitation for the cause of Telangana State. In spite of the intense movement for the last four years, not even a single settler was targeted in any manner. On the contrary, the movement has organized SADBHAVANA rallies in many colonies of the city to promote harmony between the settlers and the local communities. Setters from Andhra region also played active role in the agitation for Separate State. As reported in the Srikrishna Committee report, more than 75 per cent of the investments in Hyderabad are either from Public Sector Undertakings or from non-AP private sector entrepreneurs. The investment pattern clearly indicates that the economic linkages between Andhra and Hyderabad are weak and the formation of Telangana State does not affect their interests.
One should realize the fact that carving a separate State of Telangana does not affect the fundamental rights of any community as we all remain the citizens under the Indian constitution. All the rights guaranteed under this constitution will be available equally to all the citizens irrespective of their language, region or religion.
Not all settlers are worried about their future in Hyderabad and most them have become an integral part of Hyderabad as in the case of Marathis, Kannadigas, Tamilians and so on. The complaint is mainly raised by the group of settlers migrated during TDP regime. They occupied lands in and around Hyderabad in the pretext of investments and development. Most of these settlers knitted with the power politics for their own business and political benefits. Hence, their fear is not really about the ill treatment, but the loss of links with power. In conclusion, one may say that with the formation of Telangana State, Andhra elite will no more be the dominant community. However, in this newly formed state they are entitled to equal status and equal opportunity.