Hyderabad: Telangana government has requested the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) to immediately stop water diversion through Pothireddypadu Head Regulator since it is in violation of KWDT-I Award. It also urged the board to take deterrent action against the Andhra Pradesh government for diverting water.
In a letter to the KRMB Chairman, Telangana Engineer-in-Chief (General) Irrigation and Command Area Development (CAD) department C Muralidhar said Srisailam project was conceived as an hydro-electric project and Planning Commission sanctioned it as an hydro-electric project only. KWDT-I has also considered it as hydro-electric project and allocated 33 TMC for evaporation losses without any diversion for irrigation, he said.
In Inter-State agreements of 1976 and 1977, all the three riparian States agreed to divert 15 TMC from Srisailam reservoir to Madras for drinking water supply, during July to October, to be conveyed through an open line channel from Srisailam to Penna designed to carry a discharge not exceeding 1500 cusecs.
It was also stipulated that the system was utilized only for water supply to Chennai. In 1981, the Planning Commission gave clearance for Srisailam Right Bank Canal (SRBC) for a reallocation of 19 TMC (out of 811 TMC allocated to AP) to be diverted from Srisailam reservoir.
The Central Water Commission (CWC) while approving SRBC, stated that the components of “the approach channel, head regulator, 16.34 km long main canal up to cross regulator at the tail end (including the cross regulator) are proposed to serve Madras city water supply also.”
The report states “The total water requirements of 19 TMC earmarked for the project area to be drawn from Srisailam reservoir during flood period of Krishna river (July to October) and regulated into SRBC at Banakacherla regulator.” Hence, the total water to be drawn from Srisailam reservoir is 34 TMC during flood period from July to October.
The capacities of Srisailam Right Main Canal (SRMC) and three regulators approved by the CWC are to discharge under flood flow conditions are Head Regulator from Srisailam Reservoir, cross regulator at the end of main canal to fill Gorakallu and Owk reservoirs of SRBC and a regulator on the left side of main canal upstream of cross regulator to feed the link channel which joins the Velugodu reservoir of Madras water supply.
In 1984, disregarding the Inter-State agreements, the CWC approvals and KWDT-I Award, the AP government increased the SRMC to 20,000 cusecs, as against originally designed capacity of 11,150 cusecs. It increased regulator capacity of link channel to Madras water supply to 11,150 cusecs and the regulator capacity of SRBC to 11,150 cusecs apart from introducing a new regulator called escape regulator with a capacity of 11,150 cusecs.
As per letter and spirit of the Inter-State agreements, Planning Commission approval and KWDT-I award, canal intended for the Madras water supply should not have any irrigation component. Contrary to this, erstwhile AP enhanced the capacity of the regulator.
The escape channel was, in fact, provided to supply water to KC Canal ayacut which is totally in contravention to the KWDT-I Award, Planning Commission approval and interstate agreements. The capacity of SRBC regulator was also enhanced to provide irrigation to more areas contrary to the KWDT-I Award and Planning Common approvals.
Further, before KWDT-II, Telangana was contesting the reallocation of return flows generated inside basin by utilisations in Telangana projects and savings of a project whose allocations are protected on the basis of historical use by the KWDT-I to SRBC project which serves entirely outside basin.
The flood flows should be drawn at +880 ft and above levels of Srisailam reservoir and not at lower levels. The required quantum of 1500 cusecs for Madras water supply and 750 cusecs for SRBC can be diverted at lower levels with a minimum draw level of +854 ft.
Hence, it is not entitled to draw this 2250 cusecs (1500+750cusecs) below +854 ft even during monsoon period flood flows. It was not intended that the levels have to be build up the Srisailam reservoirs to +854 ft to facilitate the drawls of 2250 cusecs.
Later, the SRMC further was increased to 44000 cusecs capacity in 2006, and now enhancing to 88,000 cusecs. Also, an additional regulator for Galeru Nagari Sujala Sravanthi (GNSS) with 22,000 cusecs at Banakacherla was constructed.
Keeping in view of all these aspects, the Telangana government has urged the KRMB to allow AP to draw only 34 TMC of water during flood period through PRP Head Regulator and SRMC above +880 ft level.
It requested the Central government to put all the above enhancements under unapproved projects category in Schedule-2 of Gazette Notification of July 15, 2021.
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