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TS rejects KRMB’s idea on Krishna water

Hyderabad: Did the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) jump the gun and announce that both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have come to an agreement on sharing of power and water from the Srisailam Reservoir?

Two days back, KRMB member secretary B Ravikumar Pillai said the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments expressed their readiness for rule curve with regard to the Srisailam reservoir and the two states have not yet to come to an understanding on Sagar rule curve which is to be resolved with the intervention of the Central Water Commission.

The River Management Committee (RMC) meeting was convened again on Monday to further discuss the issue but the Telangana state government officials did not attend the meeting but instead sent a draft recommendation and requested the board to keep the report in abeyance.

The government clarified that it was not ready to accept the recommendations and blamed the RMC for releasing an ‘objectionable’ report to the media.

Special Chief Secretary (Irrigation) Rajat Kumar said, “There is no change in Telangana’s stand on the issue of water sharing, power sharing, conveyor storages, and consumptive use of drinking water and accounting of flood waters which were already communicated to the KRMB through several letters in the past”.

The RMC report and its official statements were against the state interests. The Special Chief Secretary said that the Srisailam project was constructed as a hydro – electric project for exclusive purpose of the power generation with a purpose to release 280 tmcft of water to meet drinking and irrigation needs under the Nagarjuna Sagar project in both the states of AP and Telangana.

Therefore, 50:50 power sharing ratio is not agreeable to Telangana which was in deviation to the earlier orders. He pointed out that the rule curve framed by the Central Water Commission, outside basin diversions from the Srisailam reservoir should be limited to 34 tmcft only.

Unfortunately, the RMC report was silent on this important aspect. Referring to the demarcation of surplus water over and above 70 per cent dependable flows, Rajat said AP was having much larger capacity to divert water by gravity and at the same time it was not permitting Telangana to build such infrastructure.

“If this issue is agreed as mentioned in the draft RMC report, it will result in big inequity. AP would be using about 50 to 60 tmcft excess water every year than its agreed share. Unless AP agrees to permit Telangana to draw differential quantities, after floods from Srisailam and Sagar project storages, there is no reason to make any agreement with AP on the issue,” he said.

He further said Telangana has been requesting KRMB to allow its share of saved water during the current year to carry over for utilisation in the next water year. But, the board was not considering the request.

The TS Government felt that none of the issues as drafted in the RMC report were in the interest of Telangana and any agreement without the state claims is going to definitely play against the case of Telangana before KWDT – 2 ( Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal). Hence, the draft report and recommendations of RMC were not acceptable to Telangana and should be kept in abeyance.