Says there is no necessity to seek any opinion from any other
Hyderabad: The State government has requested the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) to implement the provisions of Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-I (KWDT-I) without any further delay from the current water year. There is absolutely no necessity to seek any opinion from any other, it added.
In a letter to the board Chairman, Telangana Engineer-in-Chief (General), Irrigation and Command Area Development (CAD), said Telangana had been repeatedly requesting the KRMB to account water drawn for domestic and municipal water supply as per the KWDT-I final order.
As per Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act- 2014 (APRA- 2014) Section 85(8) (i) and (ii), the functions of the KRMB are to regulate water having regard to tribunal awards and inter-State agreements. Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka made an inter-State agreement on August 17, 1973, and submitted jointly to KWDT-I that only 20 per cent of water drawn for domestic supply should be measured as consumptive use.
The same was stipulated in the Clause-VII of KWDT-I, which also held that “the question of return flows from these uses will not arise, as they will be measured by the quantity of water consumed by them, in terms of above direction.”
The Clause-VII is so explicit that there is no need of any clarification or any agreement as being called for by the KRMB. As such, question of reviewing this issue in any forum as being called upon by the board is totally unwarranted, the government said in the letter.
Hence, the KRMB has to implement provisions of the inter-State agreement and the KWDT-I final order with regard to measuring consumptive use of drinking water supply drawls. The Central Water Commission (CWC), in its latest reassessment of the water availability study in India in June 2019, considered the consumptive use of domestic water utilisation as 15 per cent, it said.
When an official of Telangana raised the issue of consumptive use given in the KWDT-I award as 20 per cent during a webinar organised by National Water Academy on “Reassessment of water availability in India using space inputs”, the CWC considered it as 15 per cent.
The CWC project team clarified that whenever the tribunal awards are in vogue, they should be followed; otherwise, it should be considered it as 15 per cent. It is most unfortunate that the KRMB is not recognising methodology adopted by the CWC in above studies, the Telangana government said.
Due to the delay in decision, Telangana has lost its share of about 31.952 tmc per year since the bifurcation with respect to Hyderabad water supply and Mission Bhagiratha, it said in the letter.
The State government has urged the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) to restrain Andhra Pradesh from executing the unauthorised Veligonda project and adding new components to it which are intended to divert water outside the basin.
Telangana Engineer-in-Chief (General), Irrigation and Command Area Development (CAD), C Muralidhar, in a letter to the board Chairman, requested to communicate it to the Secretary, Department of Water Resources (DoWR), Ministry of Jal Shakthi, for appropriate action. He said the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-I (KWDT-I) has not considered any diversion of water from the Srisailam reservoir and stipulated that in future allocations, in-basin projects be given priority over outside-basin diversions.
But in 1994, disregarding the provisions of KWDT-I award, the erstwhile AP government proposed the Veligonda project to divert 3,000 cusecs of floodwaters during monsoon to outside basins like Gundlakamma from the Srisailam reservoir through a tunnel.
In 2005, an additional tunnel was proposed to carry further 8,600 cusecs of floodwaters; hence, the diversion capacity was increased from 3,000 cusecs to 11,600 cusecs that is one tmc per day. As per the DPR submitted before KWDT-II by the erstwhile AP government, the diversion of floodwaters was proposed when the level is above +875 ft in Srisailam reservoir, and the construction work commenced in 2005.
Telangana has been expressing strong objection to the projects diverting water outside the basin from the Srisailam reservoir through Pothireddypadu Head Regulator, Srisailam Right Main Canal (SRMC), Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanthi (HNSS) Lift Scheme, KC Canal Lift Scheme and Veligonda tunnel project.
The Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao conveyed his strong objection to the Centre on such diversions and requested it to act immediately. In the second Apex Council meeting, the Union Minister stressed that inter-basin transfer of water can be done only after fulfilling the needs of the basin first.
Telangana has been pleading before KWDT-II under section-89 proceedings to stop outside-basin diversions while in-basin drought-prone areas are suffering. KWDT-I is seriously considering this issue by framing several issues.
However, the AP government with a view to making fait accompli the decision of the tribunal is continuing its efforts to further divert Krishna waters to outside the basin. It is not pleading for dependable waters for this project before KWDT-II.
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