: Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Friday resolved to address issues concerning the two states amicably and come out with a preliminary report by July 15 on how they can utilise available river waters together.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting between Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao and his Andhra Pradesh counterpart Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy, who were accompanied by officials of their respective governments.
Rao said both governments decided to work together on unresolved issues concerning both states as there is a 'qualitative change' in relations between them.
"There is a qualitative change in the relations between AP and Telangana. We have decided to move forward with complete awareness, with total understanding and with a firm opinion that people in both the states are ours.
Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments have decided to work together. Our aim is to extend maximum help to the people (of both states)," an official release quoted Rao as saying.
Jagan Mohan Rao said both CMs decided to provide water to people in both states at a lower cost even as water issues for the irrigation sector should be solved with the best and simple methods.
"Availability of water is going down in Krishna river. It may further get reduced in the years to come. Hence the governments firmly resolved to utilise water from Godavari river to mitigate water problems in Rayalaseema region in AP and Palamuru Nalgonda areas in Telangana.
At the meeting, KCR gave a power point presentation on water availability in rivers of both states and how water is not adequately available in lower riparian states due to many barrages built on tributaries of rivers in upper riparian states like Karnataka and Maharashtra, the release said.
He also proposed ways and means to utilise at the optimum, water from Krishna and Godavari rivers aided by Google Maps.
"If both states think and walk together,it is enough.It is enough if both states have unanimity on utilisation of water in the two rivers for the benefit of people in both states," Rao said.
Earlier Andhra Pradesh Finance Minister B Rajendranath Reddy told reporters that various issues concerning the two states would be resolved as part of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act.
"Along with it, a direction on how they can together use and consume river water has been thought of," he said.
Officials have been asked to submit a preliminary report by July 15 on how waters of the Godavari and other rivers can be jointly used by the two states he said,adding they decided to resolve issues with a 'give and take' approach and stand as a role model to the country.
"A preliminary report on how to use river waters effectively by both states will have to be submitted by the officials of both states by July 15," Reddy said.
He said when it comes to dealing with neighboring states, AP and Telangana will stand united before a dialogue with others.
A senior Andhra Pradesh government official said senior engineers of both states would work together on how to divert Godavari water to the Srisailam project.
The official also said Chief Secretaries of both states, along with advisors of the respective governments, would meet Saturday to sort out administrative issues on employees transfers and asset sharing.
This is the first ever meeting between Chief Ministers of AP and Telangana without the Centre's intervention after Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated in June 2014.
Rao and his then Andhra Pradesh counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu met in Delhi in September 2016 when the then union water resources minister Uma Bharti convened a meeting on Krishna and Godavari river water related issues and various projects on them.
It's no secret that KCR, as the Telangana Chief Minister is popularly known as, and Naidu don't see eye-to-eye.
Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSRCP was swept to power in the recent Assembly elections, dealing a crushing defeat on Naidu.
The bonhomie between KCR and Jagan, sworn-in as Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister last month, is already quite evident amid signs of a thaw in relations between the two Telugu states.
Rao had attended Reddys swearing-in ceremony in Amaravati and the two leaders met on a couple of occasions subsequently.
Rao had earlier said they have agreed to ensure that the two states put the river water available to them to optimum use for irrigation and other purposes.
The AP government recently handed over to Telangana, buildings under its control in the Secretariat complex.
The buildings had been allocated to Andhra Pradesh as Hyderabad is the common capital for both states for 10 years, beginning 2014.
Though five years have passed since the state bifurcation in 2014, several issues, including division of assets and liabilities between the states, have been pending due to lack of agreement over them.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)