Hyderabad: Telangana will raise with the Centre its concerns over submergence of lands in the State in the backwaters of Polavaram project. It may seek a fresh assessment of Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) impact once the multi-purpose project is completed.
Minister for Irrigation T Harish Rao discussed the issue with the top brass of the Irrigation Department on Wednesday, ahead of the Irrigation Ministers’ meet convened by the Union Ministry of Water Resources in New Delhi on Thursday.
Rao, who will take part in the meeting to be chaired by Union Minister for Water Resources Nitin Gadkarai, said Telangana will be bearing the brunt of submergence caused by Polavaram project. Besides large extent of arable land, scores of villages, the historic Bhadradri temple, many of the State’s coal mines and vital installations such as the Manuguru Heavy Water plant would be facing the risk of submergence because of the project. The backwaters would have a bearing on the catchment area of the project affecting places up to 124 km upstream, the Minister pointed out.
He wanted the State officials to take up the issue with the Centre as well as the project authorities seeking a fresh assessment of the impact based on latest comprehensive backwater studies. The Minister also asserted that TS, as per the Bachawat Tribunal Award, would merit consideration for an additional entitlement of 45 tmc of Krishna waters once the Centre accorded its clearance for the Polavaram project like other riparian States of Krishna (Karnataka and Maharashtra) above the Nagarjunasagar project.
Since Polavaram project is being implemented as a national project, the Centre should intervene to ensure allotment of 45 TMC due to Telangana. Harish also insisted that Telangana was entitled to another 45 TMC from Godavari being utilised and diverted to Krishna basin by AP through the massive lift irrigation scheme over Godavari at Pattiseema. He directed the irrigation officials to seek 575 TMC of Krishna water as Telangana’s share from the overall allotment of 811 TMC given to undivided Andhra Pradesh.
The Irrigation Minister also asked the State officials to seek directions from the Centre to speed up the modernisation works on the Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme (RDS), an inter-State project in Krishna basin. He pointed out that though the Central Water Commission accorded permission way back in 2016 for installation of telemetry systems at as many as 19 water drawal points in Krishna basin for assessing the water drawals from the common projects, the process was not yet completed.
The telemetry system installed at Pothireddipadu head regulator and a few other places were not working properly. AP had been overdrawing water from the Srisailam project and diverting Krishna water beyond the basin benefiting projects in the non-basin areas, he pointed out, stating that the fact that this left TS at the receiving end should be highlighted at the Secretary-level deliberations in the Delhi meeting.