Arguments mar Krishna River Management Board meeting
“We were unable to convince the board to get a higher share of water from the Krishna. The arguments from both sides nearly resulted in a fight,” said an official from Telangana’s irrigation department, requesting anonymity
Heated arguments marred the 14th Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) meeting on Wednesday as Telangana sought a 50:50 water sharing ratio while Andhra Pradesh demanded even a higher share, people aware of the matter said. The current 66:34 (Andhra Pradesh-Telangana) ratio will continue, irrigation department officials from both states confirmed.
The meeting began at 11am on Wednesday and lasted for about 10 hours as the officials from the two states discussed water sharing and other related issues.
“We were unable to convince the board to get a higher share of water from the Krishna. The arguments from both sides nearly resulted in a fight,” said an official from Telangana’s irrigation department, requesting anonymity.
Telangana, which was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in 2014, has been seeking a higher share of waters from the river citing irrigation and drinking water needs. Andhra Pradesh sought 70:30 ration in its favour even as the KRMB decided to maintain the current arrangement.
The water sharing dispute between the two states is pending with the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-2. “...we pointed that out as well. The meeting went in our favour,” an Andhra irrigation department official said, requesting anonymity.
Modalities and issues related to the Centre’s move to take over projects on the Krishna and Godavari next month were discussed at the meeting as well. Telangana and Andhra Pradesh share the Krishna waters from dams such as Nagarjuna Sagar and Srisailam.
In the run-up to Telangana’s creation, the state was allocated 299 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of Krishna waters out of 811 TMC allocated to united Andhra Pradesh as per an agreement signed in 1976. The pact was signed for the allocation of water to Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The Krishna flows across Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The Telangana official cited above said the state did not exist when the allocation was made. “So, the 299 TMC allocation was done without proper consultation.”