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Need details of approvals for cross regulators: Telangana to KRMB

Hyderabad: Telangana has made it clear to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) that the status of approvals for the Pothireddypadu Head Regulator (PHR), Srisailam Right Main Canal (SRMC) and Banakacherla cross regulators given by the Central Water Commission (CWC) is required to be known.

In a letter to the board’s chairman, Telangana Irrigation and Command Area Development (I&CAD) Engineer-in-Chief (General) C Muralidhar said unless the records are made available, it would not be possible to understand the issues. He has also urged it to furnish further views on rule curves and the operation of powerhouses and irrigation sluices at the Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar Project (NSP).

The entire correspondence made in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh with the CWC and Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS), related to the Srisailam Right Bank Canal (SRBC) and Chennai Water Supply Scheme (CWSS), the CWC note submitted to the 16th Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and the status of approvals of the PHR, SRMC and Banakacherla cross regulators are required to be made available.

According to Muralidhar, Telangana is of the view that they surely have to bear in mind the preparation of the rule curves for Srisailam and NSP and understand the technical issues involved. Since KRMB is closely associated with the CWC and MoJS, it is requested to obtain the required data or documents and communicate the same at the earliest, enabling to furnish further comments on the draft rule curves.

“The KRMB ignored pertinent issues raised by Telangana. We are not asking for any confidential or classified documents of the CWC or KRMB,” Muralidhar said.

All documents such as the CWC note, technical correspondence between the State government and CWC and technical details of the components of the structures approved by the CWC can be shared without any objection. These details are relevant to Telangana as it is the successor State of erstwhile AP to which the data is pertained to. Further, the data is related to a reservoir, which is common for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, he said.

Since it was clearly mentioned that while drawing 19 TMC of water, the Minimum Draw Down Level (MDDL) is the criteria for drawl of 2,250 cusecs (750 cusecs for SRBC plus 1,500 cusecs of CWSS) and flood conditions are the criteria for release of 11,150 cusecs.

From the TAC note, it is also clear that the flows to be diverted are only flood flows. Hence, without knowing the MDDL, the level to discharge 11,150 cusecs, capabilities of the head regulator at various levels in the reservoir and main canal section considered in the note for clearance of the SRBC and CWSS by Planning Commission (16th TAC of 1981), it is not possible to arrive at the rule levels.

He said there was no mention of building up of water level at the Srisailam reservoir up to an MDDL (allegedly 854 ft) and till that time no water is to be drawn for Nagarjunasagar requirements through the production of power.

The Srisailam hydroelectric project was sanctioned by the Planning Commission and protected by the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT)-I based on the minimum release of 264 TMC for Nagarjunasagar requirements by way of firm power production.

Later, the drinking water to the Hyderabad metropolitan city, which is within the Krishna basin, is drawn from Nagarjunasagar. Therefore, as mandated by the KWDT-I Award, the primary responsibility of the Srisailam reservoir is to release water to Nagarjunasagar, irrespective of the water levels at

Hence, it is necessary to know the MDDL considered in the 16th TAC note and all the correspondence between the State government, CWC and MoJS regarding the SRBC and CWSS from the period of forwarding the KWDT-I main report to the 16th TAC meeting.

Telangana has been time and again requesting the KRMB to restrain AP from drawing more than 34 TMC from the Srisailam Reservoir – 15 TMC to CWSS and 19 TMC to SRBC from July to October during the flood periods. Since there are segregated drawals at different levels, namely MDDL, and flood conditions which were stipulated while giving clearance by the CWC, the corresponding segregated demands also need to be followed in the formulation of rule curves.

However, AP has deliberately violated the provisions of awards and agreements and constructed the PHR, SRMC and Banakacherala cross regulator which currently enables diversion of about 4 TMC per day. “It is unfortunate to note that the Central government has been a mute spectator in spite of the obligation to inspect and ensure that the canal system shall not draw more than 15 TMC and it shall not be used for other purposes,” he said.

Hence, the status of approvals of the PHR, SRMC and Banakacherla cross regulators are required to be known to Telangana.