TS urges KRMB to stop AP’s water diversion plans

Telangana government has termed Andhra Pradesh plans to divert 6 to 8 tmcft of water everyday from Srisailam reservoir by increasing the capacity of Pothireddypadu head regulator and taking up a new lift system as “illegal and contravention of Section 84 of the AP Reorganisation Act” and requested the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) to stop AP from proceeding further.

In a letter addressed to the Chairman of KRMB on Tuesday, Principal Secretary (Irrigation) Dr. Rajat Kumar pointed out that no new project is allowed to be taken up by the member States without appraisal and recommendation of the river board and the prior approval of Apex Council comprising the Union Water Resources (Jal Shakti) Minister and the Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

The river board has been requested to initiate necessary action to prevent AP from taking up any further action including calling and awarding tenders as per G.O. 203 issued by AP on May 5 for the proposed Rayalaseema Lift Scheme and enhancement of water drawal capacity of Pothireddypadu head regulator (PRP) to 80,000 cusecs. The Telangana officials have drawn the attention of the river board about the legal obligations of AP and sought directions to AP to submit detailed project reports about the diversion plans.

Mr. Rajat Kumar explained in the letter that the AP government had given administrative approval for the water diversion with ₹6,829 crore by taking up new pumping system to draw 3 tmcft water a day from Srisailam from near Sangameshwaram and drop it into Srisailam Right Main Canal (SRMC) at 4 km away from PRP, besides increasing the water drawal capacity of PRP to 80,000 cusecs amounting to over 7 tmcft water a day.

Besides being totally in contravention of the provisions of the Bifurcation Act, the project would also adversely impact the interests of Telangana. “Srisailam being the common reservoir for the two States, AP can’t plan additional diversion of water without the consulting Telangana,” Mr. Rajat Kumar said in his letter to KRMB. He explained that Telangana is dependant on water from Srisailam for drinking water needs of Hyderabad and Mission Bhagiratha schemes in combined Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda and Rangareddy districts.

Riparian rights

Further, substantial irrigation requirement is under Nagarjunasagar Left Bank Canal, Alimineti Madhava Reddy Srisailam Left Bank Canal, Kalwakurthy, Palamuru-Rangareddy and Dindi lift irrigation schemes, as also power generation at Srisailam Left Bank power house. There can’t be any justification by AP to take up project in violation of the riparian rights of another basin State. The proposed project intends to divert Krishna water to another basin affecting the availability of water to in-basin projects.

“Taking advantage of the absence of telemetry system at PRP, AP is indiscriminately diverting Krishna water outside the basin without any proper account now”, Mr. Rajat Kumar pointed out in the letter.

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Printable version | Aug 14, 2020 8:41:04 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/ts-urges-krmb-to-stop-aps-water-diversion-plans/article31569067.ece

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