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Yet another water row erupts between Telangana and AP on Krishna projects

Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments are once again locking the horns over the Krishna water with the former insisting on release of water to the second crop under Nagarjuna Sagar ayacut from its unutilised share and the latter resisting the move stating that Telangana has no right to transfer the unutilised allocation from one season to the other season or from one project to the other project.

“Despite our best efforts AP government so far has not responded to our request for release of water from Nagarjuna Sagar knowing fully well that the farmers in Telangana start the operations early on. Instead, they had approached the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) claiming that Telangana was not allowing the release of water for the balance Kharif period in Krishna delta,” Telangana state irrigation minister T Harish Rao said on Sunday.

According to the minister, Telangana had utilised only 117 tmc ft (thousand million cubic feet) out of its rightful share of 229 tmc in Krishna river so far this year while Andhra had already utilised 329 TMC, about 8 TMC in excess of the actual allocation. “All that we have been requesting them is to allow us to utilise water from our unutilised portion, but in vain,” the minister said.

When asked as to why Telangana could not fully utilise its allocated share of water in Krishna during the Kharif season, Harish Rao replied that the extent of ayacut available under Krishna projects in Telangana was not enough to exhaust the entire allocation in a single season.

He accused that the AP government has been resorting to mischievous actions in a bid to steal the rightful share of Telangana in Krishna water even after the bifurcation.

On Friday Andhra Pradesh government has dashed a letter to the member secretary of KRMB claiming that ‘despite repeated indents and requests by state of AP, no releases have been effected by N S Dam authorities of government of Telangana since 2nd week of December, 2014″.

In this letter AP asked the KRMB to take control of reservoirs of Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar to regulate the structures of both power and irrigation sluices while alleging that the state of Telangana was not complying with either the indents placed by AP or directions of the river board.

But Telangana minister argued that they were very sympathetic in meeting the requirements of AP farmers even though the state had already exhausted its share of Krishna water.

“For instance AP had utilised 155 tmc of water for Krishna delta as against the actual allocation of 152.2 tmc and was asking for an additional release of 26 tmc from Nagarjuna Sagar for the balance Kharif requirement. We have agreed to their request on a condition that the excess releases have to be adjusted in the utilisation of water during the next Kharif season but they did not agree,” the minister said.

According to him, AP was conveniently demanding for its share of water currently available in the reservoirs without taking into account the quantum of water already utilised by them during the Kharif season.

There was no dispute from the AP side over the figures cited by the Telangana minister either on the quantum of allocations available to both the states under the Batchwat Tribunal Award or the utilisation of water by the two states during this Kharif season. But the AP says that Telangana has no right to transfer the unutilised portion of water in one season to the other season or the allocation made under one project to the other project.

“If they want to utilise the entire unutilised allocation of water for the second crop, that too under one project, where will AP get its share of water to meet the requirements of farmers in a given season? After all a reservoir holds a particular quantity of water in a given point of time” a senior official of AP government told Business Standard while questioning the logic of Telangana minister’s claim.

If Telangana government says it was legitimate to utilise the unutilised allocation of Krishna water in one particular district(in this case Nalgonda), what will it say to its people in other districts, the official questions.

Telangana irrigation minister on Saturday said that they were also planning to approach the KRMB for ensuring the utilisation of its rightful share of Krishna water.

Meanwhile, reacting to the media reports over AP’s intention to increase the height of the interstate Polavaram dam project to 186 feet from the present 150 feet, minister Harish Rao said that they will fight against any such a move along with other states including Odisha.

“They had already snatched away 6 mandals of Telangana besides displacing the over 2.5 lakh innocent tribals in the area for constructing Polavaram project on Godavari river. They inundated all the lands of lord Ram(Ram temple of Bhadrachalam) and now they also want to submerge the ram temple by increasing the height,” the minister said.

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