Telangana government has been repeatedly appealing to the Board for allocation of river waters in 50:50 ratio until the final verdict
Hyderabad: During a meeting held at Jalasoudha, KRMB Chairman MP Singh stated that power generation from Srisailam project should be in line with the needs of Nagarjuna Sagar and Krishna Delta. He wanted the Telangana government to stop power generation at Srisailam project, stating that power should be generated only when it was required for operating the lift schemes of the project.
The Telangana officials expressed dissatisfaction over the remarks made by the KRMB chairman and asserted that the State would not stop power generation which was required for operating lift irrigation schemes in the State. Protesting against the Board chairman’s remarks, the officials staged a walk-out.
Earlier, Special Chief Secretary for Irrigation Rajat Kumar from Telangana pointed out that share in river waters was one of the major issues that led to the Statehood movement and the subsequent formation of Telangana State and that Krishna was the main water source for Hyderabad’s population. He argued that water were distributed between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the ratio of 512 TMC and 299 TMC respectively, on a temporary basis which was only applicable for the year 2015-16.
Further, Rajat Kumar explained that water consumption had increased after completion of Srisailam Left Bank Canal (SLBC), Kalwakurthy, Nettempadu and Bheema projects.
Accordingly, the Telangana government has been repeatedly appealing to the Board for allocation of river waters in 50:50 ratio until the final verdict of Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) is delivered. He pointed out that Telangana has been making the demand since 2018, but there was little progress. He made it clear that continuing with the temporary arrangement was unacceptable to Telangana and demanded that the Board take a decision in this regard immediately.
Speaking to media persons before the meeting commenced, Rajat Kumar said hydel power generation was needed to meet the water needs of Telangana. He reiterated that the Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme was not a new project and was initiated during the then erstwhile Andhra Pradesh government before State formation. He also argued that the Andhra Pradesh government was constructing projects illegally on the river and opposed diverting Krishna water outside the basin. He stated that though Telangana had been demanding installation of telemetry system on Krishna River for many years now, there was no response till date.
Special Chief Secretary for Irrigation, Rajat Kumar, said the State government has no objection to handing over the projects, provided the Centre as well as both the States agree for the same. He was speaking to mediapersons after the joint meeting of KRMB and Godavari River Management Board (GRMB) held to discuss the gazette notification issued by the Centre to hand over the operation of the irrigation projects in both the States to the Union government.
The joint meeting of the Boards has agreed upon allowing control over minor irrigation projects to the States and also decided to constitute a sub-committee to conduct a field visit of all irrigation projects in both the States.
Rajat Kumar said there were no major disagreements with regards to the allocations and irrigation projects on Godavari River. He stated that out of 10 disputed projects on Godavari River, seven issues were addressed. Further, Telangana has submitted detailed project reports pertaining to Sitarama Lift Irrigation, Kanthanapally shifted to Thupakulagudem and other projects. The government urged the Centre to approve three ongoing projects for which it had already issued environmental clearances.
However, the KRMB had failed to ensure that Telangana’s just demands were not addressed. The State government found fault with the decision of the Board to maintain status quo with regard to enhancement of Krishna River water allocations for the current year as well. “The Boards must take decisions in accordance with the changing needs of people. As the KRMB did not agree to our requests, we respectfully walked out of the meeting earlier,” he said.
Further, the Telangana government had disposed off the claims of Andhra Pradesh that more water was being utilised under Mission Kakatiya. “We have only restored the tanks, but did not increase their capacity. We are only filling the tanks to improve local ayacut as per the allocations made to us earlier,” he added.
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