India Politics
Row over Babli project rocks Lok Sabha
May 14, 2007 - 2:20:39 PM

New Delhi, May 14 - A water sharing dispute between two states stalled Lok Sabha proceedings repeatedly Monday as Andhra Pradesh MPs protested the construction of the Babli barrage by neighbouring Maharashtra on the Godavari river.

Lok Sabha was adjourned thrice before lunch as MPs belonging to Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh marched towards the speaker's podium, raising slogans over the project.

MPs of Telugu Desam Party -, the main opposition in Andhra Pradesh, wanted the centre to intervene and direct Maharashtra to stop the barrage's construction. They termed it 'illegal' and said it would block water to the Sri Ram Sagar Project in Andhra Pradesh's Telangana region.

There was chaos in the morning because TDP's K. Yerran Naidu wanted to raise the barrage issue, but MDMK MPs wanted to discuss the three deaths in Madurai over the alleged sibling rivalry in Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi's family.

Though Speaker Somnath Chatterjee allowed Naidu to speak, Congress and Shiv Sena MPs from Maharashtra tried to stop him. The speaker then adjourned the house first 11.10 a.m. for 10 minutes and then again at 11.25 a.m. till 12 noon.

When the house met again, Naidu began to speak, but Shiv Sena MPs ran to the speaker's podium, saying it was a state issue.

'What is happening in this house? Let me know from the party leaders whether parliament should be functioned or not,' an exasperated Chatterjee said.

Unable to control the situation, Chatterjee then adjourned the house till 2 p.m.

TDP, meanwhile, is organising a public demonstration at Jantar Mantar opposing the project because they say the barrage would block water flow to the Telangana region. The area is heavily dependent on the Godavari river for drinking water and irrigation projects.

Over 3,000 party workers have arrived in New Delhi to participate in the demonstration.

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