The Rayalaseema Steering Committee launched a four-day “Mahapadayatra” at Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme (RDS) at Kosigi in the district on Saturday, demanding immediate withdrawal of consent for Upper Bhadra project to protect the water rights of Rayalaseema districts.
Steering committee convener Byreddy Rajasekhar Reddy, leading a large number of activists from people’s rights organisations, students organisations and lawyers, said the project under construction in Karnataka should be stopped forthwith and Union government should withdraw its consent for according national project status by investing ₹5,300 crore in it.
The four-day yatra will conclude at Adoni on February 28 with a public meeting on the topic to put pressure on the State and Central Governments to get the Upper Bhadra project cancelled, he added.
Mr. Byreddy asked the Centre to accord permission to construct a bridge-cum-barrage near Siddeswaram in Kothapalli mandal of Nandyal district, where it had sanctioned only a wire-stayed iconic bridge. “If the bridge-cum-barrage is constructed, it will help meet the irrigation and drinking water needs of the Rayalaseema region,”he said, and added that there was a possibility of storing 60 to 70 tmcft of water at Siddeswaram.
He appealed to the political leaders, including sitting MPs and MLAs from Rayalaseema region, to join and raise their voice to develop the Rayalaseema region irrespective of political affiliations.
Finding fault with the lack of interest on the topic among Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Mr. Byreddy demanded the resignation of both Chief Ministers alleging that they failed to justify the using of surplus water of river Krishna.