Special Correspondent

VIJAYAWADA: The bifurcation of the State will result in both new states losing out on river water with states like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh and Orissa that are in the upper reaches benefiting. The bifurcation will be a blow to Jalayagnam that is a great benefit to the Telangana areas, says Jalayagna Sadana Samithi chairman and Samaikyandhra Joint Action Committee (JAC) convenor Kolanukonda Sivaji.

Talking to The Hindu, Mr Sivaji said the Andhra Pradesh area would lose out if Telangana proposes sharing of river waters in proportion to catchment area and inflow received by the river. According to separate Telangana movement leader Jaisankar, 79 per cent of the Godavari river catchment area and 68 per cent of the Krishna river catchment area were in Telangana. Just a small percentage of 11.5 per cent of Krishna-Godavari catchment area was in Coastal Andhra and 18 per cent of the catchment of the two rivers is in Rayalaseema.

Agreeing that the catchment area of the rivers and the inflows from Telangana were more and the Andhra Pradesh was allotted more water not on the basis these two parameters. The Bachawat Tribunal allocated more water to Andhra Pradesh on the basis of riparian rights.

The states that were in the upper reaches have been from the beginning demanding larger allotment on the basis these two parameters.

And if Telangana also joins the bandwagon then the allocation to Andhra Pradesh area would be drastically reduced. The area would get 1,000 tmcft less according to an estimation, Mr Sivaji said.

He said expensive lift irrigation schemes would be required to utilise water for Telangana area. Irrigation projects came up in coastal Andhra first because of the low cost. By raising the water level by a mere 12 feet at Prakasam Barrage, 13 lakh acres could be irrigated, Mr. Sivaji said as if to illustrate the ease with which projects could be established in coastal areas.