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Shiv Sena march creates tension over Babhali dam
Hyderabad, Jul 22 (IANS):
Published on 22 Jul. 2010 11:08 PM IST
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There’s fresh tension on the Andhra Pradesh-Maharashtra border. After Telugu Desam Party’s (TDP) protest over the Babhali dam project in Maharashtra, it is now the Shiv Sena’s turn to rake up a controversy over a lift irrigation project in Andhra Pradesh.
Tension prevailed on the Andhra-Maharashtra border near Bodhan in Nizamabad district of Andhra Pradesh as Shiv Sena activists Thursday march towards the Salura lift irrigation project across the Manjira river.
Alleging that the project has come up on Maharashtra territory, Shiv Sena began a march while Andhra Pradesh mobilised police forces on the border to stop them.
Senior police officials of Nizamabad district spoke to their counterparts in Maharashtra’s Nanded, urging them to stop the protestors. The people in Bodhan fear an attack on the project.
The Maharashtra government had raised objections in 2004 when the construction of the project was taken up.
Major and Medium Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah reviewed the situation here with top officials. He said Salura project was built after Survey of India submitted a report and talks with the Maharashtra government.
The minister blamed the opposition TDP for allowing parties in Maharashtra to rake up the controversy through its protest over the Babhali dam on the Godavari river. “TDP’s action has created problems,” he told reporters.
TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu and 74 other party leaders were arrested by Maharashtra police July 16 when they tried to proceed towards Babhali dam being built by Maharashtra.
The former Andhra Pradesh chief minister and others were kept in judicial custody for three days before being forcibly sent back to Hyderabad by a chartered flight.
Shiv Sena has criticised the Congress government in Maharashtra for allowing TDP leaders to enter the state and later dropping all the charges against them to send them back.
No link between
Babhli, bypolls: Naidu
Asserting that the fight on the Babhli issue was no way related to the July 27 bypolls, TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu said the party would withdraw from the elections if Chief Minister K Rosaiah could secure the Prime Minister’s assurances to stop work on the project. “If Chief Minister K Rosaiah secures a clear assurance from the Prime Minister on protecting the state’s interests, the TDP will have no hesitation in withdrawing from the by-election contest,” Naidu announced in Hyderabad on Thursday.
The announcement assumes significance as the Congress and Telangana Rashtra Samiti have been critical of the TDP’s agitation against the Babhli project, saying it was taken up only to benefit in the by-elections in 12 Assembly constituencies in Telangana region.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan too criticised the agitation saying it was purely political while his Andhra counterpart also made light of Naidu’s fight in a similar way.
The TDP started its fight against the Babhli project since the project work started way back in January 2005.
The issue was raised several times in Parliament, state Assembly and also taken to the notice of the Central Water Commission.
The part had conducted an agitation in New Delhi on the issue besides meeting the Prime Minister, Naidu said.
“This is the life struggle of people from Telangana region. A staggering 18 lakh acres of agricultural land will turn into a desert if the illegal projects are completed on river Godavari by Maharashtra,” he claimed.

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