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Andhra PradeshStop AP from drawing water, Telangana to KRMB

Stop AP from drawing water, Telangana to KRMB

Published: 13th Aug 2021 12:24 am

Hyderabad: The Telangana State government continued to mount pressure on the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) to stop neighbouring Andhra Pradesh from illegally drawing water from the Krishna river.

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In the latest missive to the Board, Engineer-in-Chief (General), Irrigation and CAD department, C Muralidhar urged the KRMB to restrain AP from diverting water from the foreshore of Srisailam reservoir through three unauthorised projects to feed KC Canal till a proper account and allocation was established for them. He also urged the Board Chairman to communicate the issue to the Secretary, Minister for Jal Shakthi.

Muralidhar pointed out that KC Canal was originally conceived as a navigation canal from Tungabhadra River at Sunkesula anicut in the 19th century and later the irrigation component was added. In 1860, the government of Hyderabad State gave conditional permission to Madras State for construction of Sunkesula anicut to feed KC Canal stipulating that there should not be any objection from them when Hyderabad State draws water for its use.

The June 1944 Agreement contemplates utilisation of Tungabhadra waters equally for RDS canal on left side for Hyderabad State and KC canal on right side for Madras State after making an extra allowance to RDS equivalent to additional draw-off by Madras pre-Moghul channels over pre-Moghul channels of Hyderabad.

In view of the above, KC Canal was entitled only for an allocation of 10 TMC whereas the RDS was taken up for 17.1 TMC considering the excess utilization under pre-Moghul channels on Madras side. In the Inter-State Conference of 1951, KC Canal’s existing utilisation was submitted as 10 TMC and that of RDS under construction with utilisation as 17 TMC, Murlidhar explained.

However, the erstwhile AP, setting aside the issue of validity of the June, 1944 agreement, filed a joint statement with Karnataka before the Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal-I (KWDT-I) and secured protection of 39.90 TMC for this project.

This was one of the many attempts at deliberately neglecting Telangana region in united AP. As such, Telangana was challenging the same before KWDT-II under Section 89 proceedings requesting that AP be restrained from using not more than 10 TMC for KC Canal. The KWDT-II is seriously considering this aspect by framing an issue no. 8 and 10, Muralidhar said.

In 1981, the AP government reallocated eight TMC to SRBC out of 39.90 TMC of KC Canal on ground that it was saving water following the canal’s modernisation. But, the data submitted before the KWDT-II showed an average utilization of 54 TMC from KC Canal against the earmarked 31.90 TMC while RDS canal of Telangana could not use even five TMC of water against its protected quantity of 15.90 TMC due to sheer neglect of AP.

In spite of these factors, erstwhile AP modernised the KC Canal system and constructed a barrage at Sunkesula in place of the anicut, he pointed out.

Subsequently, Muchumarri Lift Irrigation Scheme came into operation in 2017 and was drawing water from +798 ft i.e much below the Minimum Draw Down Level (MDDL) of Srisailam reservoir to feed KC Canal. In fact, KC canal has to realise its allocated quantity of water from Tungabhadra River including regulated releases of 10 TMC from Tungabhadra dam.

Though AP was utilizing much more water than its earmarked share, it arranged additional sources of water illegally to this project by constructing a escape channel from Banakacherla cross regulator, and lifting water from Malyala pumping station of Handri Niva Sujala Sravanthi (HNSS) project and from Muchumarri Lift Irrigation Scheme.

With these illegal modifications, AP was utilizing much more water for this project and thus completely diverting it outside the Krishna basin. As AP was using more water than its earmarked share of 31.90 TMC, there was no case for taking up these additional sources for KC canal.

The KWDT-I imposed restrictions on utilisation of water in Tungabhadra sub-basin and held that Tungabhadra River should contribute substantial flows to the main stream river Krishna. Contrary to the spirit of KWDT-I, the AP while drawing excess water from Tungabhadra has made additional arrangements to draw water from Srisailam reservoir.

This action of AP is in complete violation of provisions of KWDT-I. The operation of above three unauthorised projects, in addition to existing excess utilization under KC canal from Tungabhadra stem, has already affected the water availability to several projects on mainstream of river Krishna to in basin projects of Telangana depending on Srisailam such as Nagarjunasagar and Hyderabad water supply. As AP is envisaging to divert water from the bottom of Srisailam reservoir +798 ft it will also adversely affect drinking water supply to Hyderabad city also.

Therefore, the three additional sources namely, KC Canal lift irrigation scheme at Muchumarri, link canal connecting HNSS Lift Irrigation Scheme at Malyala with KC Canal, Escape Channel from Banakacherla Cross Regulator for feeding the KC canal ayacut, are illegal and cannot be permitted, he said.

Also read: 

Stop AP from drawing water from Pothireddypadu: TS writes to KRMB

KRMB team inspects Rayalaseema LIS finally!

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