Special Chief Secretary for Irrigation Rajat Kumar reiterated that the Telangana government had sought discussion on revision of the water sharing ratio of Krishna River for the current water year.
Hyderabad: With the Andhra Pradesh government refusing to stop the illegal construction of Rayalseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (RLIS) and Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme (RDS) right canal in violation of norms, the Telangana government is leaving no stone unturned to protect the interests of its farmers. Apart from seeking a full body meeting of Krishna River Management Board (KRMB), the State government had approached the Chennai bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) and filed a petition against the RLIS.
The Telangana government on Monday sought convening a full board meeting of the KRMB instead of the three-member committee meeting scheduled to be held on July 9. It has urged the KRMB chairman to convene the full board meeting on a mutually convenient date after July 20, considering that the technical teams in Telangana were busy with management of various irrigation schemes due to commencement of the Kharif season.
In a missive to the KRMB chairman, Special Chief Secretary for Irrigation Rajat Kumar expressed reservations over the Board Member Secretary mentioning discussion of only issues raised by AP over utilisation of Krishna River waters during the proposed three-member committee meeting on July 9. He observed that several critical issues raised by Telangana were not taken into consideration for discussion.
He reiterated that the Telangana government had sought discussion on revision of the water sharing ratio of Krishna for the current water year, and steps to stop construction of the illegal RLIS and RDS Right Canal by Andhra Pradesh immediately. The State government also sought discussion on granting of additional share of 45 TMC to Telangana in Krishna waters subsequent to the clearance of Polavaram project by the Central Water Commission as per the terms of the Bachawat award, reckoning 20 per cent of total water drawn as usage towards drinking water supply, and appropriate accounting of savings by Telangana out of water releases ordered by KRMB.
Further, Rajat Kumar had also clarified on power generation by the State government from the Srisailam reservoir and stated that the Srisailam project was sanctioned by the Planning Commission in 1963 as a Hydro-Electric Project (HEP) for supplying water to Nagarjunasagar project by power generation. The Krishna Water Disuptes Tribunal (KWDT)-I also held this as HEP without envisaging diversion of water to another watershed. “Srisailam project being a HEP for generating power without diverting water to another watershed does not involve consumptive use of water except for evaporation loss,” he cited the extract of KWDT-I.
The Special Chief Secrerary for Irrigation pointed out that water supply systems in the State were predominantly dependent on lift irrigation schemes requiring huge energy inputs during Kharif season. Considering a severe power exigency in the State, he stated that the power generation at Srisailam would ensure the transmission of sufficient waters to Nagarjunasagar project which was critical for meeting the needs of agricultural and drinking water needs in Telangana. Under these circumstances, he stated that the Telangana government was constrained to reject the requests of Andhra Pradesh to stop power generation from Srisaialam HEP.
Meanwhile, the State government on Monday had approached the Chennai bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) and filed a petition against the RLIS. In the petition, Rajat Kumar contended that AP was violating the stay orders issued by the NGT earlier against illegal construction of RLIS and RDS right canal. The State government said the AP was carrying out excavation works of RLIS without obtaining proper permissions from the Union Environmental Ministry, Union Jal Shakti Ministry and the KRMB. Hence, he sought the Tribunal to initiate action and pass appropriate orders under NGT Act of 2010 against AP for willful violation of its orders.
Further, the Telangana government requested the NGT to hold a physical inspection at the cost of Telangana State government in view of the aggravated form of contempt. The government offered to arrange for a helicopter and other means of travel for the NGT for its visit to the RLIS construction site. The government also urged the Tribunal to restrain AP from executing RLIS without prior environmental clearance approvals from the Union Environment Ministry, Union Jal Shakti Ministry and Krishna River Management Board (KRMB). It had also sought action against the contract agency SPML Infra Limited for executing the actual work in violation of the NGT orders.