Tension at Nagarjuna Sagar dam on polling day as Telangana, Andhra cops clash

Telangana government officials claimed that at a time when the state was busy with poll preparations, the Andhra government deployed police and took over half of the Nagarjuna Sagar dam against existing norms.
Telangana police at the Nagarjuna Sagar dam premises
Telangana police at the Nagarjuna Sagar dam premisesFile image
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Hours before voting began in Telangana on Thursday, November 30, a tense situation was witnessed on the premises of the inter-state Nagarjuna Sagar dam in Nalgonda district. The dam, which is supposed to be under the Telangana government’s control, was reportedly taken over by the Andhra Pradesh government by deployment of police in more than half of its locations (gates). Visuals from the location show a large number of policemen moving around, with some involved in clashes. 

The Telangana government has taken a serious objection and has asked the Nalgonda police and the district collector to look into the matter. The Nagarjuna Sagar dam, which supplies water to parts of Andhra and Telangana, is built on the Krishna river. Similarly, the Srisailam dam, also built on the Krishna river, straddles the Nandyal and Nagarkurnool districts of Andhra and Telangana.

After the formation of Telangana in 2014, the Union government, which formed the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB), eventually gave control of the Srisailam dam to the Andhra government, and the Nagarjuna Sagar dam to Telangana.

“Both the dams have to be handed over to the KRMB eventually, and the process is underway for it to be done at a later stage. The AP government occupied half of Nagarjuna Sagar dam, but how can they do it? They occupied 13 gates and many Andhra police personnel were there as well. What are they trying to do on a day when we go to vote? Just because our government was busy with poll preparations they did this,” said a senior official from the Telangana Irrigation department. When contacted, Andhra government officials denied that they occupied any part of the Nagarjuna Sagar dam.

Meanwhile, Telangana Congress chief Revanth Reddy said that the incident seemed suspicious. “It is a strategic move (by the ruling Bharat Rashtra Samithi). Nagarjuna Sagar dam won’t go anywhere. The gates and the water won’t go anywhere. The people of Telangana are intelligent. Very soon a new government will form and this water dispute will be resolved. These water issues are unresolved because of Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao’s poor governance in nine and half years,” he said. 

The results for the November 30 polls will be announced on December 3.

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