almatti narayanpur jurala Muchumarri Pothireddypadu srisailam NagarjunaSagar pulichintala

Almatti DamClick Here

The Almatti Dam is a hydroelectric project built on Krishna River in North Karnataka. Its the main reservoir of the Upper Krishna Irrigation Project with a 290 MW power station located on its right side. It has five 55MW generators and one 15MW generator. Water is released in to the Narayanpur reservoir after using for power generation to serve the downstream irrigation needs. The dam is located on the edge of Bijapur and Bagalkot districts. Geographically, it is located in the Bijapur district. Raising the height of the almatti dam has been a bone of contention in the United Andhra Pradesh. Gross storage:129.72 TMC Present Storage:126.56 TMC FRL:885 ft Present Level:864 ft

NarayanpurClick Here

Narayanpur Dam, now renamed as Basava Sagar dam across the Krishna River is located in Bijapur Districtk of Karnataka. The reservoir is a single purpose project meant only for irrigation, but downstream electrical generation and drinking water considerations enter into its management. The dam is 29 meters high and over 10 kilometres long and has 30 gates for water release. The project was completed in 1982 and irrigates 4.21 lakh hectares in Gulbarga, Yadgir, Bijapur and Raichur districts. Gross storage:37.65 TMC Present Storage:34.99 TMC FRL:491 ft Present Level:492 ft

JuralaClick Here

The Priyadarshini Jurala Project is located in Jogulamba Gadwal district of Telangana. It is a multi-purpose project consisting of a dam across river Krishna, about 18 K.Ms away from the Karnataka border. it has a canal network on both sides of the dam. The project is intended to irrigate an ayacut of 1,02,200 Acres (41360 Ha.) under Right Main canal and Left Main Canal in drought prone Mandals of Atmakur ,Kothakota,Pebbair, Weepangndla, and Kollapur (under L.M.C) and Gadwal, Dharur, Itikyal and Manopad (under R.M.C.) of Mahabubnagar dist. A provision of 5.66 Mcum or 0.2TMC is also provided for drinking water supply to the villages en route in the command area of above mandals. Out of total allocation of 800 TMC to Andhra Pradesh by KWDT, 17.84TMC of water was allocated to PJP. Govt. of Karnataka has also agreed for construction of the project with FRL +318.516 M and to acquire the land and structures being affected under this project and also providing Rehabilitation & Resettlement facilities as per the norms of Govt. of Karnataka. Districts benefiitted: Right main canal: Jogulamba gadwal dist : DHARUR,GADWAL, ITIKYALA, MANOPAD Left main canal: Wanaparthy dist:ATMAKUR,KOTAKOTA, PEBBAIR,SRIRANGA PUR, WEEPANGANDLA Nagarkurnool dist: PENTLAVELLY, PANGAL: Gross storage:9.66 TMC Present Storage:8.83 TMC FRL:321 ft Allocation to TS:17.84 TMC Utilisation by TS:10 TMC

MuchumarriClick Here

Muchhumarri Lift Irrigation Scheme constructed by AP in Pagidyala mandal of Kurnool district was commenced recently. It is feared to have its bearing on the water yields for Palamuru–Ranga Reddy lift irrigation of Telangana. AP government can indulge heavy drawals from Srisailam as long when its levels are above 810 ft. According to reports, AP can pump water even from 798 ft level in the Srisailam reservoir to fulfil the irrigation needs of 49,440 acre of ayacut under KC Canal. The new pumps installed under the Muchumarri scheme were operating round the clock to lift Srisailam water into the Handri Neeva system .

The promising water yields of Krishna are petering out gradually to mere trickle. The river, once a perennial source, reduced itself to a thinning stream. Now every drop of the meagre inflows matters much for every riparian state. It is more so with the water- starved Telangana.

Dammed and diverted at every convenient point, very little of the river flow reaches Telangana state, that turned out to be tail-end of the irrigation system under the lower basin of Krishna. Its deprival is squarely attributed to the culprits upstream.

Not only the new born state, but even the river management body has voiced its concern time and again over the ever increasing unauthorised drawls that became a big menace.

Even the net utilisation of Krishna water by Telangana is far short of its due share. Andhra Pradesh, with the strategically located Srisailam project in its operative control, continued to have an upper hand even after bifurcation of the state.

It had gained virtual stranglehold on the irrigation system leaving Telangana with less than half of its allotted share to support its food production and power generation needs.

Telengana State which accounts for 68.5 per cent of the river's 11,3271 sq kms catchment (in combined AP), had its water entitlement restricted to only 36.86 per cent of the 811 tmc of the allotment given to the undivided state.

The promise of water was high on its agenda of the fight for statehood that culminated in formation of Telangana state in 2014. As a separate state, it is today going all out to realise its due. Hence the battle royale.

Section 89 of the Andhra Pradesh Re-organisation Act, 2014 provides for carving out the share of Telangana state from the share of erstwhile undivided Andhra Pradesh. But the new state is yet to go a long way in this direction.

As per the working arrangement, the Nagarjuna Sagar Project was placed under the operative control of Telangana. Srisailam dam continued under the authority of the Irrigation Department of AP.

With its water level remaining much below the minimum draw down (MDDL) level of 510 for a major part of the year, the command area under the Left canal serving Telangana and partly AP and right canal serving exclusively Andhra Pradesh has been left barren so far this year.

The KRMB had declared that drinking water needs are its priority. There could be no release of water for meeting irrigation needs this year.

Nagarjunasagar Dam

KRMB; High on promise, low on delivery

Tasked with monitoring of the water sharing arrangement between the two sibling Telugu states, the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) is still at loss on ways to go about its assignment.

Thanks to some of its omissions and commissions, its neutral status, that should have been the hallmark of the functioning of an inter-state supervisory body of its kind, is at stake.

The Central Government has constituted the Krishna River Management Board as its representative body expecting it to play a decisive referee role in administration, regulation, maintenance and operation of projects on lower basin of the river, particularly the common reservoirs - Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar.

Ever since it came into existence in accordance with the AP Reorganisation Act 2014, it has been synonymous with adhocism in every aspect of river water management.

But the entire mechanism put in place for effective river management proved to be high on promise and low on delivery. Its primary job is to ensure a fair deal to the successor states in sharing of the of 811 tmc allotted by the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal -II to the undivided Andhra Pradesh.

Under the working arrangement in force, entitlement of AP and Telangana was 512 tmc and 299 tmc respectively. But it could make hardly any headway in fulfilling its basic objective so far. Though the allocations were made on pro rata basis, the distribution pattern too is very much skewed in favour of AP.

TS claim for right allocation

As against the present allocation of 299 tmcft, TS has been hopeful that it would merit consideration for an additional allocation of at least of 150 TMC more from Krishna in the event of a realistic review for reallocation of water.

Telangana has an allocation of 299 tmc ft. it wants atleast 500 tmc ft. The claim is justified on 68.5 percent of catchment area of combaine AP is in Telangana. But Ts get only 36 percent of allocation. However AP with just 31.5 percent of catchment area had been enjoying 63 percent of share in undivided state

Senior Counse C S Vaidyanathan, who represented Telangana at the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal -II contended that the state should be given at least 500 TMC as a fair share from the river basin. TS claim for more share is justified on the basis that 68.5 per cent of Krishna river catchment area of combined Andhra Pradesh was in Telangana.

But the allocation of water given to it as per the present working arrangement was only 36 per cent. With only 31.5 per cent of the river's catchment, AP had been enjoying 63 per cent of the share of the undivided State.

Out of its 512 TMC , AP is diverting about 350 TMCft to areas outside basin whereas areas of Telangana within the basin are being deprived of water.

TS utilisation mere 100 tmc on an average

Even though Telangana State had an entitlement for 299tmc of Krishna water yield, the real utilisation is far less. The average annual utilisation was in the in the order of 100 tmc ft. The allocation given for minor irrigation in the state was 89.15 tmc.

The actual utilisation under this sector got drastically reduced to one third of the allocation because of the poor maintenance of the minor irrigation sources in the undivided state. Thanks to the Mission Kakatiya under which special attention was being paid for rehabilitation of the minor irrigation sources, the utilisation started improving .

Allocation and utilisation of TS projects

project Allocation in TMC  Utilisation on  ground
Jurala 17.84 10
Nagarjunasagar 105.70 50
RDS 15.9 3.00
Bhima 20 Under execution
Dindi 3.5 1.67
Musi 9.40 3.51
Wyra 3.70 3.70
Kotipalli Vagu 2.00 1.40
Okachettivagu 1.90 1.90
Pakhal lake 2.60 2.40
Palair 4.00 4.00
Lanka Sagar 1.00 0.94
Minor irrigation 89.15 25.00
Nagarjunasagar Dam

PothireddypaduClick Here

Pothireddypadu or Velugodu Reservoir is a balancing reservoir and located across the Kundu tributary of Penna river at Veligodu village in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh. This reservoir is part of Telugu Ganga project and mainly fed by gravity canal from back waters of Srisailam Dam through Pothireddypadu head / flow regulator located across the feeder canal. Velugodu Reservoir has gross storage capacity of 17 Tmcft at 265 m MSL full reservoir level.

SrisailamClick Here

Srisailam project was originally conceived as a power project. Its construction, taken up on a deep gorge in Nallamala hills in between Kurnool and Mahabubnagar districts in 1960, underwent many problems resulting in inordinate delays. The main dam was completed twenty years later on July 26, 1980. Later it was converted into a multipurpose facility with a generating capacity of 770 megawatts as part of its second stage that was completed in 1987. Srisailam dam experienced a record inflow which threatened the dam on in October 2009. The irrigation schemes came as a later additions to the project. Gross storage:215.81 TMC Present Storage:121.83 TMC FRL:885 ft Present Level:864 ft

NagarjunasagarClick Here

Nagarjuna Sagar Dam was built across the Krishna river at Nandikonda where the river forms the boundary between Guntur District in Andhra Pradesh and Nalgonda District in Telangana states. The construction of the dam taken up in 1955 was completed in 1967. Nagarjuna Sagar was the earliest in the series of large infrastructure projects termed by the first Prime Minister of India Jawahar Lal Nehru as "modern temples" initiated for achieving the Green Revolution in India. It is also one of the earliest multi-purpose irrigation projects and second biggest in the country. Nagarjuna Sagar dam is designed and constructed to utilise up to the last drop of water impounded in its reservoir of 405 TMC gross storage capacity. Gross storage:312.06 TMC Present Storage:127.13 TMC FRL:590 ft Present Level:507 ft Allocation to TS:105.70 TMC Utilisation by TS:50 TMC

PulichintalaClick Here

Gross storage:45.77 TMC Present Storage:7.59 TMC FRL:175 ft Present Level:133 ft

Polavaram project

TS had requested the Ministry of Water Resources to direct KRMB to ensure additional usage of 45 TMC for its needs last year because of the diversion of Godavari water from Polavaram and additional water in the same proportion of Godavari water diverted from Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme.

Godavari water Dispute Tribunal permitted AP state to divert 80 TMC Godavari water to Prakasham Barrage from Polavaram project through Right main canal and permitted upper riparian states to utilize 80 TMC of Krishna waters from the date Polavaram project is cleared by Govt of India.

Out of 80 TMC Maharashra and Karnataka states were allocated 14 and 21 TMC respectively and the balance 45 TMC were allocated to AP state with a stipulation to utilize above Nagarjunasagar Project. Soon after Central govt announced Polavaram as national project Maharshtra and Karnataka started utilizing their share of water.

After bifurcation of AP state Telangana is insisting KRMB to allow to utilize 45 TMC allocated to erstwhile AP as it has no areas to irrigate above Nagarjuna Sagar barring a few patches in Kurnool district. So far MOWR and KRMB are silent on this issue.

Pattiseema Lift Irrigation scheme

The lift Irrigation scheme that came up at Pattiseema village in Polavarm mandal of AP's West Godavari district facilitated diversion of Godavari river water to Prakasham barrage enabling famers to raise crops in over 13 lakh acres in Krishna delta. Some 55.60 tmc of Godavari water was diverted through the 174 km long Godavari canal to Krishna delta in 2016. The targeted drawal for the current year is 80 tmc, designed capacity of the Lift scheme.

After all, Pattiseema lift irrigation scheme is being claimed to be only a temporary substitute to the Polavaram project coming up across the Godavari.

Bajaj Committee

The Union Ministry of Water Resources constituted a committee of irrigation, hydrology, and hydel power experts to suggest a “mechanism for facilitating the effective functioning of the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB). Former chairman of the Central Water Commission A.D. Mohile has been appointed Chairman of the five-member committee in September 2016.

The committee has also been asked to report on the “allocation of Godavari waters being transferred to the Krishna Basin in accordance with the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal Award, 1980.

The stand of Mohila committee on the issues involved came under question and in the wake strong opposition from Telangana, the committee was reconstituted with AK Bajaj, former Chairman of the Central Water Commission (CWC) with its terms of reference being almost the same.

The Bajaj Committee, which is working on the operational protocol for sharing Krishna River water between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, was also non- committal on the inter-basin transfer of water through Polavaram and Pattiseema lifts stating that it was not part of its agenda.

But every effort was made by the state authorities to get the issue addressed. It was taken up even with the Ministry of water resources in hope that the Bajaj panel would look into it.

350 tmc being diverted to non basin projects

About 351 tmc of water from Krishna basin is being transferred as per the statistics provided by AP to command area fed by projects that are not part of the basin. Potireddipadu, Galeru- Nagari and Handri-Neeva are all diverting water to non basin areas.

For that matter the entire command are of the Nagarjuna Sagar Right Canal and even part of the Krishna delta is not part of the Krishna basin. TS had already made a strong case of the illegal inter-basin diversion of Krishna water.

Pothireddypadu major source of diversion

Telangana government had for long been pointing out its accusing finger at the unauthorised drawls from Srisailam by operating the Poythireddipadu head regulator.

AP had been diverting huge quantities from PRPHR by constructing additional vents which would facilitate drawals up to 250 tmc of water to areas outside the basin. The discharge capacity of Pothireddypadu head regulator was increased from 11,500 to 44,000 cusecs by the erstwhile Congress regime in the undivided state.

Poythireddipadu head regulator

Its four-km long approach Channel that carries the backwaters of Srisailam to the head-regulator was deepened to facilitate drawals in line with the enhanced capacity of the regulator which has been the main source for supply of Water to Rayalaseema projects - Srisailam Right Bank Canal (19 tmc), Galeru-Nagari (38 tmc), Telugu Ganga (34 tm), Gandikota (16 tmc), Owk (four tmc) and Myalavaram (10 tmc)- all irrigating some 15 lakh acres. Another 15 tmc is being drawn from the same source to support supply to Chennai city to meet its drinking water needs.

Excess drawals by AP has been undermining the working arrangement in vogue and depriving Nagarjunasagar of the minimum water flows required even during the monsoon period. There were instances when the drawals fromPothireddipadu were ranging up to 18000 to 20000 cusecs after state bifurcation.

But what the state had accounted for was only 8000 to 10000 cusecs.

AP had drawn over 10,000 cusecs without the consent of the KRMB even last week of September 2017, forcing Telangana irrigation authorities to lodge a protest with the board which called for a meeting of its three member committee at a very short notice to resolve the issue.

Tampering with Telemetry system readings

Telangana was of late successful in putting certain safeguards in place to check the illegal drawals. The telemetry system have been giving real time information on drawals from such major projects.Teams have been constituted for joint monitoring of drawals.

Even then reports came in that the readings of Telemetry station at Pothyreddypadu were tampered and drawls shown are less than what were recorded earlier to a tune of 2500 cusecs. The KRBM role in finalising the location for installation of the telemetry systems came in for sharp criticism.

Muchumarri lift scheme

Muchhumarri Lift Irrigation Scheme constructed by AP in Pagidyala mandal of Kurnool district was commenced recently. IT is feared to have its bearing on the water yields for Palamuru–Ranga Reddy lift irrigation of Telangana.

AP government can indulge heavy drawals from Srisailam as long when its levels are above 810 ft. According to reports, AP can pump water even from 798 ft level in the Srisailam reservoir to fulfil the irrigation needs of 49,440 acre of ayacut under KC Canal.

The new pumps installed under the Muchumarri scheme were operating round the clock to lift Srisailam water into the Handri Neeva system .

Rajoli Banda diversion scheme

Sharing of water from even Tungabhadra river is still no way different. Rajaoli Banda Diversion Scheme ( RDS) is an inter- state barrage across Tungabhadra river. The scheme was sanctioned during the erstwhile Nizam state. The construction of anicut was started in 1946 and completed by 1958. It is meant for supply of water to Karnataka, Telangana Andhra Pradesh states. The Bachawat Tribunal had allocated 17.1 tmcft water to the left canal of Rajaolibanda Diversion Scheme ( RDS) of which 15.9 tmc was exclusively meant for Mahabubnagar district and the rest for Raichur district in Karnataka.

Its water carried through a 143 Km long RDS canal benefits 15 drought prone villages in Manvi taluk of Karnataka state, and 75 villages in Gadwal and Alampur areas in Mahabubnagar district of Telangana. Four villages in Kurnool district of AP and draw water from the RDS.

The RDS canal has turned out to be source of sorrow to the Mahabubnagar farmers. It was yielding hardly 8 to 10 tmc for them and they never had the opportunity to realise the full entitlement. Telangana state has endorsed its support for modernization of RDS.

Urging the Krishna River Management Board (KRBM) to suggest to the Andhra Pradesh government to extend cooperation to the works of Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme (RDS), the Telangana State has addressed a letter to the board In september 2016.

Irrigation Principal Secretary S K Joshi wrote to the KRBM in May , 2016 stressing the need for taking up modernisation works enabling Telangana state to avail its full entitlement of 15.90 tmc .

He also made it clear that Kurnool farmers would not experience any sort of loss due to the increase of height of the barrage. But AP remained non-committal and evasive on this. Water sharing issues under the project have still been eluding solution.

No give and take approach

TS, as the Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao had reiterated time and again is keen on a give and take approach to sort out water sharing issues with Andhra Pradesh. It could iron out more or less all the major issues with Maharashtra and Karnataka.

But because of the uncompromising stand taken by AP, the stalemate could not be resolved over Krishna water sharing so far. Neighbouring Karnataka, has seldom said no to TS pleas for water releases from its projects to meeting the drinking water needs in the lean seasons.

But as AP was not so considerate despite the fact that water supply to Hyderabad needed supplementation regularly from Nagarjunasagar. AP irrigation department declined TS request for release of just 2 tmc for Nalgonda and Hyderabad earlier this month. Its opposition was over ruled by KRMB by ordering release of 2 tmc to Nagarjunasagar to meet the drinking water needs on priority.

Story: D.Chandrabhaskar Rao
Illustration: Guru Sri
Web page: Siva Nallamothu