After a day of ugly scenes at the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, the chief ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana managed to call a truce — though temporary — over the disputed sharing of the Krishna waters.
The Telangana government had, from Wednesday, stopped water from the Nagarjuna Sagar dam to the right canal that serves the irrigation needs of Guntur and Prakasam districts in Andhra stating that the latter overutilised its share of 132 tmc from the reservoir.
The situation spiraled out of control on Friday when Andhra officials tried to force open the right canal gates, presently under Telangana’s management. After heated arguments between officials, police personnel from both the sides started attacking each other with lathis on the dam.
Following the incident, the two CMs Nara Chandrababu Naidu and K Chandrasekhara Rao held a meeting with the governor ESL Narasimhan at Raj Bhavan on Saturday subsequent to which Telangana opened the canal gates. 7,000 cusecs (a little less than 1 tmc) per day is now given to Andhra to save the standing crops in about three lakh acres. Both states also decided to pull back their police personnel.
“However, this could only be a stop-gap arrangement arrived at by the states to ease the situation. The Centre should take charge now,” one state’s official said.
Both sides are blaming the Narendra Modi government for not stepping in to solve the crisis by first notifying the jurisdiction of the Krishna River Water Board in accordance with the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act 2014 that divided the state.
“We have been writing to them but the Centre wants the matter to be settled among us. If the situation between the two states was cordial, we would not have required their intervention at all,” a senior official opined.
Once the Board takes over, all projects on the Krishna River would be under its regulation.