Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Sunday, November 14, requested the Union government to constitute a committee under the chairmanship of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to resolve inter-state issues in a time-bound manner. In his inaugural address at the 29th Southern Zonal Council meeting, he said he regretted that all issues between AP and Telangana remained unresolved even seven years after the state was bifurcated. He referred to several issues enshrined in the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, including the grant of special category status to the state, that still remained unresolved, causing "immense economic hardships and deprivation."
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday directed union ministries concerned to prepare an action plan within a month for division of assets between AP and Telangana in accordance with the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.
"The state bifurcation was conditional on the commitment to accord Special Category Status. However, despite the passage of several years, that key commitment is yet to be honoured," he regretted.
"Post-bifurcation of the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh in 2014, the newly formed state of Telangana and the successor state of AP have several bifurcation-related issues that are yet to be resolved. Long pendency of these issues would not only force the states to endure a huge economic loss, but also have the potential to strain the relationship between the states," Jagan said. He said it was imperative that a suitable solution emerged and the issues were addressed at the earliest.
Amit Shah, however, did not respond to the Chief Minister's plea for grant of special category status to the state, official sources who attended the meeting told PTI. Jagan had also referred to the Union government’s failure to bridge the resource gap for AP, approve the revised cost estimate for the Polavaram multipurpose project, complete the legal division of assets valued approximately at Rs 1,42,601 crore, as listed in Schedules 9 and 10 of the APRA, 2014.
"This is hampering their functioning and resulting in adverse impact for the state. The Union government's urgent intervention with respect to these matters is crucial to safeguard the interests of AP," the Chief Minister said.
Amit Shah reportedly told the ministries concerned to prepare an action plan in a month to go ahead with the process, the official sources told the news agency.
The state government had proposed to set up the Greyhounds Training Centre at a cost of Rs 858.37 crore but the Union government sanctioned only Rs 219.16 crore for it. The Union government so far released only Rs 9.08 crore, way back in 2018-19. The state requested the Union government to sanction the balance Rs 639.21 crore as well. The Union government sought encumbrance-free land for the project, along with requisite clearances from the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.
Home Minister Amit Shah agreed to bear full cost for setting up the training centre and wanted the state government to allot suitable land for that. The state said it was ready to hand over possession of the land.
He also said that Telangana power distribution companies owed Rs 6,112 crore to the AP Power Generation Corporation for power supplied from June 2014 to June 2017. The Union government "compelled" AP to supply power to Telangana but now the latter has taken a stand that the amount would be paid along with the demerger plan for electricity utilities. He added that “AP Genco is financially stressed and struggling to meet its debt servicing requirement”.
Telangana in a release said it is willing to meet and resolve pending issues related to bifurcation of power utilities. “It was resolved in the meeting that both the states will meet and discuss and resolve the pending payments issue,” it said.
Referring to another inter-state issue, the Chief Minister said AP has been supplying water to Tamil Nadu "as and when requested" to meet the drinking water needs of Chennai city.
The Tamil Nadu government owed Rs 338.48 crore for the past ten years for infrastructure and cost associated with operation and maintenance of Telugu Ganga project. "I request that suitable steps be taken to settle this amount at the earliest," Jagan said.
"I request the Chairman of the Council to understand the plight of the people of Andhra Pradesh and make necessary recommendations to address our concerns," he summed up.