Shiv Sena begins march towards Andhra irrigation project

There’s fresh tension on the Andhra Pradesh-Maharashtra border. After Telugu Desam Party’s (TD) protest over the Babli 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 on 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, Mr 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 TD for allowing parties in Maharashtra to rake up the controversy through its protest over the Babli dam on the Godavari river. "TD’s action has created problems," he told reporters.

TD chief, Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, and 74 other party leaders were arrested by Maharashtra police July 16 when they tried to proceed towards Babli 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 TD leaders to enter the state and later dropping all the charges against them to send them back.(IANS)

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