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Why the two Telugu states are clashing over Krishna waters

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana could lock horns at the Apex Council meeting of the Water Resources Ministry on August 5 over the sharing of Krishna waters.

 |  Sunny Side Down  |  3-minute read |   31-07-2020
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The two Telugu states could lock horns at the Apex Council meeting of the Water Resources Ministry on August 5 over the sharing of Krishna waters. The meeting to be chaired by Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat would be attended by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao and his Andhra Pradesh counterpart YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, to arrive at a conciliation over the water dispute between them. It would be a virtual meeting through a video link in the wake of Covid.

main_kcr-jagan_073120112241.jpgThe meeting would be attended by Telangana CM K Chandrashekar Rao (L) and his Andhra Pradesh counterpart YS Jagan Mohan Reddy (R), to arrive at a conciliation over the water dispute between them. (Photo: Twitter)

Telangana has warned Andhra Pradesh against constructing the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Project (RLIP) aimed at drawing more water from the Krishna river. The immediate reason for convening the meeting is Telangana’s objection to Andhra Pradesh’s plan to divert about 8 TMC feet of water a day from Srisailam reservoir by taking up the RLIP and enhancing the waterdrawal capacity of Pothireddypadu Head Regulator system to 80,000 cusecs from the existing 44,000 cusecs. Differences have sharpened on the water discharge and entry pertaining to the utilisation of Pothireddypadu Head Regulator and KC Canal system as also regarding the diversion of Godavari water to Krishna Delta through the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Project when a huge quantity of water has been flowing waste into the sea from the Prakasam Barrage. This would be only the second meeting of the Apex Council, constituted as per the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act to discuss water disputes, particularly on sharing the waters in tune with the existing tribunal awards and over the construction of new irrigation projects.

Telangana has been arguing before the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) that the difference between the water drawn from Pothireddypadu and record was at least 18 tmcft, while their Andhra Pradesh counterparts contend that it was only 3 tmcft. Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao will make a presentation claiming that the proposed Sangameswara lift irrigation project of Andhra Pradesh and enhancing the capacity of the Pothireddypadu Head Regulator is illegal. He is also to counter the allegations of Andhra Pradesh which had raised several objections to the projects being taken up by Telangana both on the Krishna and Godavari.

Earlier inter-state meetings have also witnessed differences overdrawing of water from the KC Canal with Telangana claiming that the drawal volume here recorded was 8.5 tmcft, while the AP engineers put it at only 2.26 tmcft. There is also another contention of Telangana that Andhra Pradesh had already diverted 21.97 tmcft of Godavari water through Pattiseema in the past. Yet another contention of Telangana brought to the notice of the KRMB officials was the claims of Andhra that it had so far diverted 21.97 tmcft of Godavari water to Krishna Delta through the Pattiseema project. The Andhra engineers say the volume of water diverted from the Godavari should be deducted from their utilisation.

The meeting assumes significance as it comes ahead of opening bids for RLIP. The EPC has invited tenders to complete the work within 30 months at an estimated cost of Rs 3,278.18 crore. It is said that the project is to lift 34,722 cusecs of water per day from the Srisailam Reservoir from a depth of 800 feet. The meeting was initially planned to be held in June and the Union Ministry had written to the two states seeking agenda points for the meeting scheduled to be held during the third week of May.

(Courtesy of Mail Today)

Also read: Striking at Krishna's floodplains will make proposed Andhra Pradesh capital a doomed city

Writer

Amarnath K Menon Amarnath K Menon @amarnathkmenon

The writer is Senior Deputy Editor, India Today and is based in Hyderabad.

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