Hyderabad: The State government has made it clear to Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) that the contentions raised by Andhra Pradesh (AP) on power generation by Telangana from Srisailam reservoir were frivolous and baseless.
In a letter to the KRMB Chairman, the Irrigation Department Engineer-in-Chief (General) C Muralidhar said the contention of AP that the power generation by Telangana at Srisailam project would affect the former’s drinking and irrigation requirements were far from reality, misleading and without any justification.
He said Telangana would utilise its share of waters at its discretion and exigencies, and the AP cannot have any objection in this regard. He said Section-(1) of Twelfth Schedule of AP Re-organisation Act (APRA)-2014 states that all units of APGenco should be divided based on the geographical location of the power plant. The APRA-2014 did not specify the sharing of power in the ratio of 50:50. The understanding made earlier is applicable only for that specific year.
The power generation being made by Telangana is in consonance with the sanctioned report of Srisailam Hydro Electric Project (HEP) by Planning Commission and Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal-I (KWDT-I) award and to maintain the carryover storage in Nagarjunasagar.
Muralidhar said that the contentions raised by AP were totally incorrect and untenable. Bringing facts to the notice of KRMB, he said the Srisailam project was originally conceived as HEP in 1959 and approved by Planning Commission in 1963. It did not envisage any diversion of water from the reservoir except for power releases. The KWDT-I also considered it as HEP and held that the minimum annual release from Srisailam would be “to meet the requirements of Nagarjuna Sagar Project (NSP) and Krishna Delta canals.”
In view of meeting the requirements of Krishna delta from the water diverted from the Godavari River, the flows required from Srisailam reservoir to meet the requirement of NSP are 265 TMC after excluding self-generation of 15 TMC in between Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar from out of total requirement of 280 TMC. In case, the AP diverts more than 80 TMC water from Godavari River, the 265 TMC has to be reduced by that extent and share of AP in water from Nagarjunasagar project had to be reduced accordingly.
According to Muralidhar, the Planning Commission’s clearance given to Srisailam HEP in 1963, was based on CW&PC estimation that about 265 TMC of water shall be released from Srisailam HEP to NSP for its needs. Even if Godavari diversion directly to NSP from Ichampally or Alabaka takes place, about 180 TMC minimum releases shall be made from Srisailam HEP to NSP.
The AP did not maintain Srisailam reservoir level above +834 ft during any of the years from 1990-91 to 2019-20 in April-May, he pointed out. The AP now wants to maintain +854 ft to enable to divert Krishna water to outside basin. It is relevant to note that erstwhile AP issued a government memo in 2013 to draw water upto +760 ft for irrigation purposes of Krishna delta by operating river sluices.
Post diversion of Godavari water to Krishna Delta System and NSP, the AP does not want water from Srisailam for NSP but wants to divert this water to outside basin from Srisailam against KWDT-I allocations. By this action, the requirements of NSP for both States will suffer, more particularly Telangana.
The arrangements made in June 2015, in three member committee meeting, during 5th, 7th,8th and 12th board meetings for sharing of power generated at Srisailam in 50:50 ratio are purely on ad-hoc basis and applicable to that year, and without prejudice to the claims of States before any fora.
The release orders issued by KRMB are scrupulously followed by Telangana. The releases for power generation are being made to meet the requirements of NSP in terms of KWDT-I allocations.
It is to note that the AP had taken up Telugu Ganga Project (TGP), Galeru Nagari Sujala Sravanthi (GNSS), Handri-Neeva Sujala Sravanthi (HNSS) and Veligonda based on surplus waters of Krishna for serving entirely outside the basin.
The DPRs for the above projects furnished before the KWDT-II envisage drawl of water from Srisailam reservoir at +880 ft and above.
It is relevant to mention that the AP did not plead for allocation of dependable waters to above projects before KWDT-II u/s 89 proceedings. In fact, Telangana pleaded for allocation out of 75 per cent dependable flows for the projects taken up by erstwhile AP out of surplus water in Telangana territory.
The adjudication process is going on by KWDT-II. In view of the same, the AP cannot divert dependable waters from Srisailam reservoir for its surplus water based projects in lieu of reduction in requirements under Krishna Delta System and NSP.
Further, the then three riparian States made an agreement in April 1976 and October 1977 for sparing 15 TMC of Krishna water to Chennai water supply by an open lined channel of discharge not more than 1500 cusecs to be drawn during July- October and which shall not be utilized for enroute irrigation purposes.
The DPR of SRBC indicates that Srisailam Right Main Canal shall be designed for 2250 cusecs to be drawn at +854 ft. It also indicates that the SRBC would draw water during floods. Contrary to above, the AP diverted about 170 TMC during 2019-20 and 124 TMC during 2020-21 but failed to deliver even 10 TMC of water at Tamil Nadu border against stipulated quantity of 12 TMC when 15 TMC are drawn from Srisailam reservoir.
Moreover, a quantity of about 95 TMC of water is available in the Pennar basin storages, like Kandaleru, Somsaila and Veligodu balancing reservoir together as on June 10, 2021 substantially drawn from Srisailam reservoir.
Further, about 360 TMC of storages are available in Pennar and other adjoining basins of Andhra Pradesh. The AP has a facility to lift 5000 cusecs from Muchchumarri Lift Irrigation Scheme. About 5.0 TMC of water were drawn during previous water year.
Hence, contention of AP that power generation by Telangana will deprive drinking water requirement is baseless. During the water year 2020-21, the AP has already used about 629.065 TMC in Krishna basin which is much more than its entitlement.