Power and water sharing
One of the major challenges faced by Telangana is that of sharing power and water resources. In fact, these are going to be bone of contention for Seemandhra and Telangana in the days ahead. Andhra Pradesh is referred to as the rice granary of India, thanks to the water emanating from the Krishna delta, which is very productive, and this makes it a very important location. Krishna has 811 tmcft of water and for Godavari, the volume is 1480 tmcft and the allocation in this case has been done on the basis of projects in the two states.
In the case of Telangana, it has been provided 298 tmcft of the water flowing in Krishna and the remainder of the water is to be provided to the Seemandhra region. It is expected that the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal would be allocating a further 77 tmcft to Telangana – this allocation will be made from the extra 227 tmcft that would be provided to the two states together. It remains to be seen how the excess water will be divided. The excess water is used in three projects spread across Telangana and four in Seemandhra.
R. Vidyasagar Rao, who has previously served as a member of the Central Water Commission, has stated that till the time the Tribunal provides a formal notification of distribution of water, the aforementioned projects will not be deemed justifiable from a legal point of view. In case of Godavari, things are much simpler. Telangana enjoys 900 tmcft of the water and remaining water is provided to Seemandhra. Experts are of the opinion that the way the Tribunal has been dealing with matters it is not realistic to think that the two states will get any extra share of the water in the two rivers.
T. Hanumantha Rao, who happens to be an expert on irrigation, has stated that such problems are not irredeemable, though. However, Rao has said that Telangana and Seemandhra, as well as the Indian Government, have to take efforts to ensure that a solution can be arrived at quickly. Power is also going to be yet another area of concern for Telangana. However, experts have stated that once the various projects for capacity addition are completed, both the states will enjoy excess electricity. In any case, Telangana accounts for almost 54% of the total electricity generated in the region formerly known as Andhra Pradesh.
Literacy in Telangana is another major issue. In fact it is one of the states in India that has the lowest rates in this regard. This is a strange fact, given the status of Hyderabad as a centre of education. Education is also one of the reason behind the Telangana Movement – the common feeling, here too, was one of disparity in the levels of literacy among the people in Seemandhra and Telangana. The deceased Professor Jayashankar, who had been the Vice Chancellor at the Kakatiya University, had come up with a paper where he had mentioned how these problems would be addressed once Andhra Pradesh was formed. However, nothing happened on that front.
Industrial development is also one critical issue. The problem is that even though Hyderabad is an industrial hub, the remainder of Telangana has not developed similarly. People in Telangana have stated that with the focus on locations such as Kadapa, Vijayawada, Vishakhapatnam and Nellore, Telangana has been completely ignored. The people have also complained that during the Nizam era, many industries had been set up in the area but now they have been shut down successively by the various governments who have ruled Andhra Pradesh.
Jobs are also a major area of concern for the new Telangana administration. The region is supposed to have 6 lakh jobs available, but in reality only 50% of these have been provided in the region. In the state secretariat too, 120 workers are from Telangana out of a possible 5,000. The people in Telangana voted for a change, for emancipation from what they perceived to be an all-encompassing repressive regime. It remains to be seen if the present regime is up to the task and is able to address their issues competently or not.