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Activists threaten to stop Salur irrigation project.

Tension grips Andhra-Maharashtra border

Hyderabad Tension yesterday gripped the Andhra Pradesh-Maharasthra border in Nizamabad district after Shiv Sena activists from Maharashtra threatened to march in order to stop an irrigation project at Salur near Bodhan.

The activists alleged that the project was built on Maharashtra territory which was strongly refuted by the Andhra government. The move was seen as a retaliation by the Shiv Sena activists against the visit by Telugu Desam chief N. Chandrababu Naidu to the controversial Babili dam project.

As news of Shiv Sena workers marching from Biloli town of Nanded district to Salur spread, tension rose in Nizamabad district. The district superintendent of police Venkateshwara Rao urged people not to get provoked and announced that the security at the irrigation project was tightened and no one from Maharashtra will be allowed to cross the border to reach the project site.

Stop order

In Hyderabad Chief Minister K. Rosaiah discussed the situation with state police chief R.R. Girish Kumar, intelligence chief Mahinder Reddy and other senior officials.

"On the instructions of the Chief Minister I have spoken to [the] Maharashtra Director-General of Police and urged him to stop Shiv Sena activists from entering Andhra Pradesh," said Kumar.

Later the Shiv Sena activists were stopped by Maharashtra police and were taken into custody before they could reach the state border.

Maharashtra police had put up barricades on its side of the border, while Andhra police was placed on alert on the other side.

Andhra Irrigation Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah also spoke to security officials and directed them to strengthen the security at Salur project.

Alleging that Shiva Sena was trying to create an unnecessary controversy about a project which was built long ago, Lakshmaih said that there was no dispute between Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh about the project as it was built on Andhra Pradesh's territory.

"It was built only after the collectors of Nanded and Nizamabad clearly demarcated the state boundary on the basis of Survey of India's report", he said.

Meanwhile TDP legislator from Nizamabad district Mandava Venkateshwara Rao said that if Shiv Sena activists come to Andhra Pradesh to see Salur project, they can survey the place and find out the facts.

"We will welcome them and show them around the place", he said adding that visitors from Maharashtra will not be treated the way Maharashtra government and police treated the Telugu Desam delegation.

It was built only after the collectors of Nanded and Nizamabad clearly demarcated the state boundary on the basis of Survey of India's report."

Ponnala Lakshmaiah

Andhra Irrigation Minister

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Jul 23, 2010
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