Nagarjunasagar project dispute: Tension prevails at dam after AP police ‘occupy’ half of spillway

It is third time that such disturbances between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh police were seen over the project. 

Updated - November 30, 2023 12:58 pm IST

Published - November 30, 2023 09:30 am IST - Hyderabad/Guntur

Andhra Pradesh police occupying the Nagarjuna Sagar project site on early Thursday, November 29, 2023.

Andhra Pradesh police occupying the Nagarjuna Sagar project site on early Thursday, November 29, 2023. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Tension prevailed at the Nagarajunasagar Project site in Nalgonda district after Andhra Pradesh police took control over half of the project’s spillway area having 26 crest gates around the intervening night of November 29 and November 30 and erected barricades and barbed wires to prevent the police from Telangana going to the other side/half.

According to reports, over 150 police personnel swarmed over the dam spillway area in the night, damaged the closed circuit television cameras and the Telangana side could not resist them as hardly two dozen special protection force personnel were present. The Telangana side could not send reinforcement as the State police were engaged in election duties with polling going for the Assembly elections on Thursday.

As per the provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act, Nagarjunasagar dam is controlled and supervised by Telangana and Andhra Pradesh was given the control over Srisailam project since the projects are joint storage facilities meeting the power generation, irrigation and drinking needs in the two States.

When contacted, the Chief Engineer of the Nagarjunasagar project V. Ajay Kumar told The Hindu that A.P. authorities were creating an unwanted situation with their ‘over-enthusiasm’ in the name of having control of the dam and drinking needs. “As everyone is aware, the inflows into the project were very lean this water year and over 7 tmc ft water has already been utilised by AP to meet its needs under the Right and Left Canals”, he explained.

The Chief Engineer stated that A.P. had drawn water till Wednesday night under the Left Canal and after closing the vents the power supply to the crest gates as well as others was stopped. However, A.P. authorities have occupied half of the dam spillway area forcibly in the name of drinking water needs.

“They know about the poor water availability and for releasing 2 tmc ft water under Left Canal to AP we had to release another 2 additional tmc ft water so as to ensure the flow. Against inflows of 1,723 tmc ft last water year, the project has received only 90 tmc ft this water year”, he stated.

Senior authorities of the Irrigation Department, when contacted, stated that it was unfortunate that A.P. authorities had gone beyond their limits and mentioned that Telangana did not resort to such actions at Srisaialm ever. Meanwhile, Chief Electoral Officer Vikas Raj asked the politicians not to issue statements over the issue and the police would take care of the situation at Nagarjunsagar.

In a statement, Pradesh Congress Committee chief A. Revanth Reddy alleged that the “drama is being unveiled by Bharat Rashtra Samithi due to a fear of defeat in the elections and to make some last-minute gains”. “Such conspiracies won’t have any impact on the voting patterns as expected by BRS,” he stated. Telangana Legislative Council Chairman G. Sukender Reddy faulted the AP police action and said such tactics won’t work in their favour.

Andhra Pradesh, Telangana police forces clash on Nagarjunasagar project site

The Andhra Pradesh and Telangana State police forces one again indulged in clashes on Nagarjunasagar project site located on Krishna River.

The Andhra Pradesh Government deployed hundreds of reserved police forces from 6th battalion on the intervening night of November 28-29, who occupied the project site by removing all barricades and CCTV cameras, which were installed by the Telangana government.

Sources in the government told that it was a reaction to the Telangana government’s previous act, in which they occupied the Andhra Pradesh part of the project, after the bifurcation of the State. 

It is the third time that such disturbances between two states police were seen over the project. 

Amidst ongoing political turmoil and clashes between the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Police personnel, Ambati Rambabu, Minister for Water Resources (Government of Andhra Pradesh) announced that water will be released from Nagarjunasagar Right Canal on Krishna River, for the drinking purposes. 

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