Water dispute: a look at A.P.’s concerns

‘Established protocol bars Telangana from drawing water from the Krishna for power generation without meeting the irrigation demands first’

The crux of the matter is the allegation of the Andhra Pradesh government that Telangana is drawing Krishna water from the Srisailam, Nagarjuna Sagar (NSP) and Pulichintala projects for hydel power generation without obtaining clearances from the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB).

The Andhra Pradesh government says that the operation and maintenance of the Srisailam dam, Pulichintala project and Prakasam barrage are under its purview, whereas the NSP and Jurala projects are under the control of Telangana.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 1, had said that Andhra Pradesh and Telangana were supposed to share the river water in 66:34 ratio as per the allocation made on an ad hoc basis by the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-1, after deducting minor irrigation utilisations, evaporation losses and Godavari diversions. As per the ratio, while Andhra Pradesh’s share was 512 tmcft, Telangana’s share was 299 tmcft.

The water releases are regulated by a committee comprising the Engineers-in-Chief of the two States and member-secretary of the KRMB. The quantum depends on inflows into the reservoirs, available storages and pro rata entitlements.

The Andhra Pradesh government is insisting that the established protocol bars Telangana from drawing water for power generation without the irrigation demands being met first.

As far as Srisailam, which was initially a hydroelectric project and later tuned into a multi-purpose one, is concerned, the Andhra Pradesh government alleges that Telangana is drawing water when the storage is 33.39 tmcft, which is well below the Minimum Draw Down Level, and generating electricity in its left bank power house without placing an indent with the KRMB. The storage capacity of the reservoir is 215.80 tmcft.

As a consequence, Andhra Pradesh is unable to draw water through the Pothireddypadu head regulator, which caters to the requirements of Rayalaseema, Nellore and Prakasam districts and the drinking water needs of Chennai.

Andhra Pradesh is facing a similar predicament in the utilisation of the allocated Krishna water through the NSP and Pulichintala projects having 312 tmcft and 45.77 tmcft of storage capacities respectively, as Telangana is allegedly drawing water for power generation in the absence of irrigation requirement, without KRMB’s nod.

“The unauthorised drawal from the above projects is resulting in wastage of precious water as it is flowing into the Bay of Bengal,” the Chief Minister complained to Mr. Modi in his bid to make Telangana abide by the sharing agreements.

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