In what is being seen as another attempt to maintain cordial relationship with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has extended an invite to Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for being the chief guest for the inauguration ceremony of the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project (KLIP), which is being billed as the costliest irrigation projects to be undertaken in India.
On Friday, the Telangana Rashtriya Samiti (TRS) leader flew to Mumbai to extend the invitation. The two Chief Ministers later also held a meeting to improve water sharing between the two states. The discussions took place at Fadnavis’s official residence in South Mumbai.
KLIP was originally conceived from the Dr BR Ambedkar Pranahita Chevella Sujala Sravanthi Project, which was supposed to utilise 160 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of allocated water of the Godavari project. The Godavari river originates in Maharashtra and has a catchment basin spreading across the states of Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
Two years ago, KCR and Fadnavis had inked MoUs for undertaking irrigation projects along the Godavari and the Painganga river basis, which is projected to bring about 30,000 hectare of land in Vidarbha under irrigation. A senior Maharashtra water resources department official said that relationship between the two sides over water sharing matters has taken a forward leap since.
Fadnavis has reportedly accepted KCR’s invitation for the inauguration of the project, scheduled for June 21. Andhra Pradesh CM YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has also been invited as a chief guest for the programme.
Meanwhile, sources said that the two CMs held discussions over drought and “explored” measures where they can work with each other to better water supply in the parched belts in both states.
While Narendra Modi’s landslide victory dashed KCR’s hopes of playing a key role in the government formation at the Centre, the TRS leader has been cozying up to the BJP over the past few months. Interestingly, the duo’s meeting also comes at a time when Maharashtra’s water sharing ties with Karnataka have soured. Earlier in the day, KCR also met Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao at Raj Bhavan.