Demand for KRMB to tackle disputes resurfaces

VIJAYAWADA: The Andhra Pradesh government’s long-pending demand for monitoring of common projects like Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar on the Krishna river by the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB), has resurfaced in the wake of the dispute over sharing of water between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Water resources authorities said that at the time of bifurcation in 2014, there was a demand to keep these projects under the control of the KRMB so that it can oversee the maintenance of these projects and resolve any dispute on the river between the two governments

Similarly, there is also a demand to deploy Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel at such projects instead of the present practice of deploying police by both the states in their respective areas which causes tension at the project sites. It may be mentioned that AP water resources officials were not allowed by the Telangana state police at Nagarjunasagar dam when they tried to meet their counterparts from Telangana to talk about the water dispute. Telangana state officials refused to meet their AP counterparts.

AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has written  to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekawat on the state’s water dispute with Telangana, and the AP government is eagerly waiting for their responses. Speaking to this correspondent, AP water resources engineer-in-chief C. Narayana Reddy said, “We are awaiting the Centre’s response on the Krishna water dispute and we are also working on some remedies to resolve the issue.”

On the other hand, the Telangana state government is continuing  hydroelectric power generation from all three projects – Srisailam, Nagarjunasagar and Pulichinthala in the last few days by releasing nearly two to three tmc ft of water. AP authorities raise concern over release of water resulting in depletion of available quantum of water in the Krishna river catchment areas upstream with no sign of rainfall and also no hint of any floods.

The AP authorities say that the TS government is flouting Pulichintala project protocol by releasing water for generation of hydroelectric power even though water should be released based on needs of the delta area for cultivation of crops and for drinking water purposes. They maintain that the TS government move is even affecting its own farmers as they require water for cultivation of crops falling in Nagarjunasagar left main canal command area.

Nagarjunasagar right main canal superintendent engineer Ch. Purushottama Ganga Raju told this correspondent, “We are preparing our case strongly as to how the Telangana government is flouting all norms to draw water from three common irrigation projects for power generation to present before the KRMB. We expect an amicable solution for the water dispute.”Meanwhile, the KRMB has warned the TS government that whatever quantum of water it was drawing from the projects would be considered as usage of its share of water.

The discharged water from the upstream projects is reaching downstream resulting in Prakasam barrage receiving good inflow of water.

Krishna river conservator A. Raja Swaroop Kumar said, “We have lifted 20 gates out of the total 70 at the barrage and released nearly 8,500 cusecs of water downstream into the sea.”

Moreover, there is a demand to expedite construction of a new barrage across the Krishna river at Damuluru of Ibrahimpatnam mandal in Krishna district, located at 23 km distance upstream from Prakasam barrage as it is designed to store nearly 10 tmc ft of water in its reservoir and estimated to cost nearly Rs 2,000 crore. The project has gone for retendering process at present. If this project is executed, it will help store water instead of draining into the sea as Prakasam barrage has storage capacity of just 3.07 tmc ft.



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