Hyderabad: Both the Srisailam dam and Nagarjuna Sagar Project (NSP), common reservoirs of the two Telugu States in Krishna basin, are going to be drained even below their Minimum Draw Down Levels (MDDL) to meet their summer indents.
A senior irrigation official said the “situation is alarming right now”. “Water level in Srisailam is fast depleting. We have already gone down to 825 feet, nine feet below the MDDL of 834 feet, and this is just the beginning of summer,” he said, adding: “We may be forced to drain the project even down to 820 feet to meet the indents already approved by the Krishna River Management Board.” Under normal circumstances, water should not be drawn below the MDDL storage.
NSP right canal
Andhra Pradesh has been drawing water from Srisailam by operating the Muchumarri lift scheme. Its needs under the Handri Neeva Sujala Shravanti (HNSS) are also being met with drawls from Srisailam project. The KRMB had approved an indent of 3 tmc to be met for HNSS and Muchumarri.
It is drawing some 2,900 cusecs to 3,000 cusecs from the right canal to meet its drinking water needs. AP had sought permission to use 1.5 tmc immediately out of the 8 tmc allotted for the right canal as part of the summer indent. AP will realise its full quota of 1.5 tmc for the current month by Thursday.
NSP left canal
NSP Chief Engineer Ch Narasimha Rao said releases to the NSP right canal would be stopped on Thursday. So far as the water releases to Nagarjuna Sagar Left Canal (NSLC) is concerned, the irrigation needs of ‘yasangi’ crop, extended over 3.17 lakh acres, should be met with priority. The standing crops would get a wetting by the end of this month. The last and crucial wetting would be given by April 10 before the canal is closed for the season, he added. The NSP might also be drained below the MDDL of 510 feet to meet the approved indents.
The NSP level, which is at 517 feet on Thursday, might need to be drained up to 505 feet this year, said the Chief Engineer. If there was any requirement to provide water to the ayacut under the NSP right canal to meet the needs of AP, water would be drawn from Srisailam again.
The KRMB allotted 29 tmc of water to Telangana and 17.5 tmc of water to AP in its three-member committee meeting on March 11. The allocations were based on the gross storage available in both the projects, which was put at 51.71 tmc.