Water wars between AP, Telangana escalate: AP lodges counter complaints against Telangana
Andhra Pradesh’s special chief secretary (irrigation) Adityanath Das pointed out that the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act clearly stipulated that any new project by both states has to be first evaluated and recommended by KRMB and Central Water Commission.
Andhra Pradesh on Monday accused Telangana of constructing new irrigation projects on the Krishna and Godavari rivers without permissions even as it defended its own plans to take up new schemes.
Andhra Pradesh’s special chief secretary (irrigation) Adityanath Das submitted a detailed explanation to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) on its latest proposal to draw 6 thousand million cubic feet (tmc) to 8 tmc of water from Krishna river by constructing the Rayalaseema lift irrigation scheme and expanding the Pothireddypadu head on the foreshore of the inter-state Srisailam reservoir.
Das pointed out that the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act clearly stipulated that any new project by both states has to be first evaluated and recommended by KRMB and Central Water Commission. Thereafter, the projects require approval from the apex council of the Jal Sakthi ministry.
He said after bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in June 2014, Telangana had taken up five new projects for using 150.53 tmc of waters from Krishna, with an ayacut of 16.87 lakh acres, in violation of the provisions of the act. These projects are Palamuru-Ranga Reddy lift scheme, Dindi lift scheme, Bhaktha Ramadas lift scheme, Mission Bhagiratha and Tummilla lift scheme.
In addition, Telangana enhanced the capacity of existing projects such as Kalwakurthy, Nettempadu and Srisailam Left Bank Canal, Das said.
“Andhra Pradesh lodged its protest on several occasions on these projects and in spite of repeated requests by Andhra Pradesh, Telangana is going ahead with executing these projects, affecting the interests of the people of Andhra Pradesh,” he said.
Das defended the latest projects proposed by Andhra Pradesh, saying they were meant to meet drinking water and irrigation needs of drought-hit areas of Rayalaseema, Nellore and Prakasam districts.
“At present, water can be drawn from Pothireddypadu head regulator only for 10 to 15 days a year, only when the water level in Srisailam is above 810 feet. We have proposed the Rayalaseems lift scheme to draw water at a level of 800 feet to meet our needs and it will be within the allocation of the tribunal,” he said.
Das also wrote a separate letter to the Godavari River Management Board (GRMB), complaining against Telangana for building several irrigation projects, including the Rs 1 lakh crore Kaleshwaram lift irrigation scheme, which allegedly violates the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.
He said the total water available to both states from Godavari river is 1,430 tmc, including 776 tmc to Andhra Pradesh and 650 tmc to Telangana.
“However, Telangana has been executing seven new projects, including Kaleshwaram, with utilisation of 450 tmc feet without furnishing the detailed project reports to GRMB and approval of apex council. What is more, Telangana has enhanced the utilisation of waters under Kaleswaram from 225 tmc to 450 tmc, which will affect the Andhra projects like Polavaram in the downstream,” he complained.