Hitting back at Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat for criticising Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, the state’s Finance and Health minister T. Harish Rao on Friday said there has been a delay of seven years by the Centre in constituting a tribunal to resolve dispute between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Harish Rao said during the last seven years, the Central government has done nothing to resolve the dispute over sharing of Krishna river water.
Stating that Telangana is seeking fair share of waters, he demanded that the Centre constitute the tribunal without any further delay.
Shekhawat on Thursday took strong exception to the chief minister’s remarks accusing the Centre of delaying the resolution on water dispute.
The Union minister held KCR responsible for the delay stating that due to a case filed by the Telangana state government in the Supreme Court on Krishna waters dispute in 2015, the Centre could not initiate any steps as the matter was sub judice.
Harish Rao, however, argued that the court case was never an impediment in constituting a new tribunal to resolve the dispute.
The state minister dismissed Shekhawat’s contention that there was a delay of only four months. He claimed that the state’s request was pending with the Centre for seven years.
He recalled in July 2014, the state had written to the Centre seeking tribunal under Interstate River Water Disputes Act. Harish Rao, who was then the irrigation minister, said the Centre took no decision for one year.
“It is only after 13 months that in August 2015 that the state knocked the door of the Supreme Court seeking direction to the Centre to constitute the tribunal,” he said.
Harish Rao said the matter was delayed in the Supreme Court but there was no hurdle for the Centre to constitute the tribunal.
Earlier, the Minister for Industry, and Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) working president K.T. Rama Rao also slammed the Central minister saying he spoke out of ignorance.
Addressing a news conference, Chandrasekhar Rao had said that the Centre took seven years’ time just to refer Krishna water sharing issue to a new tribunal.
KCR said that he withdrew the case from the Supreme Court as promised but the Centre failed to resolve water disputes between Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh even after seven years.