I have been forwarded an online book published by Nalamotu Chakravarthy called “My Telugu Roots”. One of the chapters is titled, “Telangana State Demand Built on a Platform of Lies”.
I don’t know if I can verify all the statistics presented in the book. I thought of taking up verification of only some data. Since WATER has been one of the biggest contentions in Telangana issue, let me start with water.
As of 2003, only 10.1% of Telangana land is irrigated, while a total of 23.3% of Coastal Andhra is irrigated. [Calculated from Water Resources Information System, Government of AP.]
Percentage increase is an extremely flawed statistic, which is being used by Nalamotu Chakravarthy. Suppose in region A you start with 1 acre and add 2 acres to it, it is seen as 200% increase. But in region B you start with 100 acres and add 50 acres, it looks like only 50% increase. Without knowing where one started, it looks like region A is doing much better than region B, when in fact the region A has only 3 acres while region B has 150 acres. Nalamotu Chakravarthy uses such a strategy.
Telangana has been historically fed with tank irrigation, but it has become expensive to maintain tanks and the budget allocation for this has been gradually reducing. Many tanks in Telangana have disappeared because of lack of funds to maintain them. Telangana has been asking for canal water that is fed by constant source in rivers. Though canal irrigation was promised to Telangana in all agreements they did not get their fair share. Therefore, ground water became the last solace for Telangana. Nowadays the water tables are depleting and it has become very expensive to take water from the ground.
Here, I stick to canal irrigation statistics. This is data from a presentation made to make a case for Polavaram Project. These are not my pictures.
It is clear from the above graph that canal irrigation in Coastal AP is nearly five to six times that of Telangana. Also, take a look at the pictures below. It is clear that Telangana is massively dependent on ground water in the last thirty years. How long will this water last? Already the depth at which the water is obtained is going further and further down, making it impossible for many farmers.
I think it is the way you present the facts. Nalamotu Chakravarthy has presented the facts the way he wanted to, while Prof Jayashankar presented the facts the way he wanted. I have presented the facts the way I wanted to. As Nietzsche said:
There are no facts, only interpretations.
The fact that there have been promises made by Andhras and eventually broken is good enough reason for Telangana to quit this marriage of convenience. The fact that a lot of water was promised to us but not delivered is a good enough reason to file a case against Andhra Pradesh once Telangana is formed.
As separate state, we would like to improve our status in irrigation through canals, dams and tanks, and we don’t want to be hijacked and blackmailed each time with your show of strength just because you hold a majority in the State Assembly or because you have put many of your officers in higher places all over Andhra Pradesh, including Telangana.
Addendum [08 Jan 2009]:
It looks like the data I presented above has led to more questions than answering any. In fact, I didn’t expect to answer any questions. I just wanted to say how data can be used by different people in different ways.
Right now, three modes of irrigation are considered: Canal, Tank, Ground water. When Telangana became independent of Nizam, the predominant form of irrigation was through tank, while the predominant form of irrigation in Coastal Andhra was through canal. That’s because while British created modern methods of small irrigation projects with canal systems, Nizam worked on age-old system of storing water in tanks.
After Independence, it was clear throughout the country that major source for water will come from canals. That’s why there was a big drive on part of Nehru to build dams and canals. Andhra Pradesh got its share of dams and irrigation projects. It was clear that there will de-emphasis on tanks while there will be more concentration on canals.
With this, there were dams, irrigations projects and canals were planned. There was supposed to a fair share for Telangana. AND that did not come. That is more important than any other statistic.
Because tanks lost their sheen in the modern India, and since Andhras did not deliver us the canal waters as promised, Telangana people had to resort to the worst way of irrigation – through ground water.
While ground water is considered OK as potable water, it is not the best way to irrigate your land. It is expensive, unreliable and doesn’t get replenished easily. And yet, Telangana is forced into using that water to irrigate its lands, otherwise death faces them on daily basis.
Reasonable Andhras who want to really understand this should instead look at all the agreements that were signed but not adhered to, and answer why they defaulted on their promises, instead of commenting on how the statistics are being used wrongly by different authors.
Addendum [10 Jan 2009]
The author writes:
According to the Bachawat award, Kosta gets 366 TMC, Rayalaseema 122 TMC, and Nizam Telangana gets 260 TMC of water from the River Krishna. Readers might have noticed that the water allocation does not add up to 800 TMC—the remaining water is retained as a provision for evaporation.
I am not even sure if Bachawat recommended Krishna water for Rayalaseema. I couldn’t find any recommendation from Bachawat on allocation of Krishna water for Rayalaseema [I will read through the Bachawat Report once again]. Assuming what the author quoted is right about Bachawat, Telangana should still get 42% of Krishna Water vis-à-vis Coastal Andhra’s 58%. Right now, Rayalaseema doesn’t get water from Nagarjuna Sagar Dam.
Looking at the actual TMC numbers, and counting only 75% of left canal (even though W Godavari which is at the tail end rarely gets the 25% water) Telangana still gets close to 40% of the water.
In reality, the Left Canal feeds Nalgonda, Khamman, Krishna and West Godavari. The author conveniently forgot to mention Krishna – which takes up 35% Left Canal. The author also makes a wrong assumption that less than 25% of left canal actually reaches West Godavari (while dropping Krishna from the numbers). Going by the records of Water Resource Information System, Coastal Andhra irrigates 36% from Left canal while Telangana region irrigates only 64%.
As a net result, Telangana gets 30% of the Krishna water while Andhra gets 70% of the water. Compare this with the original premise of the author about Bachawat which gives 42% to Telangana.
Professor Jayashankar purportedly wrote:
Nagarjuna Sagar meant to benefit Andhra and Telangana regions equally is modified in such a way that 75% of the benefit is accruing to Coastal Andhra reducing the share of Telangana region to just 25%.
Prof. Jayashankar’s might have given the number 25% (instead of current calculation of 30%) because he is looking at much larger timeline than this author who starts his data only in 1997. Going back in time, it is clear that discrimination was pronounced and therefore 25% of share for Telangana seems plausible.
I found some good information at: Telangana Marginalised
[The related posts are at: Case for Telangana, 6: Hyderabad State?, 8: You need to make a case, History of Telangana I, 10: Congratulations!, History of Telangana II, 11: Why so much opposition?, 12: Ignorance, Bad Faith and Low Opinion. 13: Let’s stay United!, 14: Letter to Andhra Brothers, 15: Concerns, 16: Samaikya Andhra, 17: More Concerns, 18: Betrayal, 19: Hyderabad a Union Territory?, 20: Welcome the Change, 21: Status of Hyderabad, 22: Cheat the Cheated, 23: Tidbits, 24: United we Stand, 25: Congratulations Andhra, 26: Untoward Incidents and Unity, 27: Violence mars Telangana Agitation, 28: Stickers, 29: Reporting from Hyderabad, 30: How Telangana Movement Spread, 31: Free 1948. Surrender 1956. Free 2010. Telangana 32: Don’t give in. Don’t give up.]