It Is –unfortunate that a major issue has broken out between the new states of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana over the addition of 7 Mandals which will be affected by submersion by the gigantic Polavaram dam. It is reflection of things is being handled. Instead of bringing states together, one finds that rivers are dividing States and creating enduring animosity between them. This is not healthy for Indian democracy. When parliament passes a law, it should mean that there is wide consensus and that the law will be respected. As soon as the Andhra Pradesh Re=organization Bill was passed, we find that Telengana has said that it is going to court This is not a healthy tradition since every state will then go to court, using the vast financial resources of a state government.
Such disputes will never be resolved since the litigation will be endless.
The River Godavari is the longest river in India, which flows entirely only in India. The Ganga, Brahmaputra and the Indus are multi-national rivers. But the River Godavari flows entirely in India. To that extent, we Indians must be happy that there are no controversies with other countries about the River Goadveri
We Indians must feel particularly proud of the river. Instead, we find that there are major controversies amongst different states over the River Godavari and how its water can be harnessed for public good. Any central project or dam should be so designed that every state welcomes it. When the Bhakra Nangal dam was built under Central government aegis, every state welcomed it. The intention of the Central government becomes suspect when disputes break out. It either means that the Central Government has not done its work or it has not done
“Due diligence “.
There is also another opinion, which I do not subscribe to. That opinion says that the central Government wantonly creates enduring disputes, so that states remain weak and have disputes with each other. Then in such instances, the central government becomes to final authority to adjudicate disputes. That seems to be happening over various disputes between Andhra Pradesh and Telengana…
Polavaram dam and controversy:
There is a major controversy between Andhra Pradesh and the States of Telengana, Chhattisgarh and Odisha over the river. The basic controversy is regarding the design of the proposed dam at Polavaram in Andhra Pradesh.
The Polavaram dam is now under the government of India. There is a Polavaram Dam Authority. Heavens will not fall if Government of India gets an expert opinion. Experts can give their opinions on whether the same amount of water can be stored if the design is changed or whether there is need for another smaller dam in Telengana to prevent submersions, etc.
The original design of the dam is over 80 years old. The location was first decided at Polavaram over 80 years ago. Much has changed since then. The Govt. of India can set up an expert panel to advise whether the design must be changed, without reducing the water storage on the River Godavari. This is what experts are for.
I also suggest that the Government of India apply the new Land Acquisition law of 2013 to all the tribal’s, poor people and farmers, who are losing their land due to Polavaram Dam. This applies to people in both the States of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana. I understand that as Polavaram Dam is now a central project, the central laws must apply.
Lakhs of poor people are being evicted due to the Polavaram dam in both Telengana and Andhra Pradesh.
Let experts take a view on how to build a dam or dams on the River Godavari so that there is a less submersion .After all, it is the Government of India which is going to spend the money over the Polavaram dam.