Even as people and the government are waiting anxiously for the flood in three rivers that flow through the State to recede, the rivers continue to discharge unprecedented amounts of water into the Bay of Bengal.
The Godavari, Krishna and Vamsadhara rivers have discharged a total of 4,386.56 tmcft into the Bay of Bengal since June 1. On Sunday alone, the three rivers discharged about one lakh cusecs into the sea. About 98,000 lakh cusecs was released from the Nagarjuna Sagar Project in the morning.
While the three rivers received a cumulative inflow of 4,655.32 tmcft, 4,387 tmcft was discharged into the Bay after utilisation of 269 tmcft for irrigating their respective ayacuts.
According to the Water Resources Department logs, 137 tmcft was utilised to irrigate crops in Godavari Delta, 113 tmcft in Krishna delta and 19 tmcft for irrigating standing crop in the ayacut of the Left and Right main canals of Gotta Barrage on the Vamsadhara River.
The Department of Water Resources started recording the surplus discharged into the sea at the beginning of the kharif season, that is, June 1. Interestingly, YSRCP president Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy was sworn in Chief Minister on May 30, two days before opening of fresh logs, and since then the rivers have been in spate. The Krishna river has been in spate for five times this season.
While 15 times of what was utilised and five times the capacity of the available reservoirs was released into the sea, the Irrigation Department staff are struggling to fill the tanks in the drought-prone Rayalaseema region. Normally, three months is required to fill all the tanks in the State, but the Chief Minister has given the department 40 days to accomplish the task.
The water drawn for filling tanks in Rayalaseema from the Srisailam reservoir through the Pottyreddipadu head regulator has been a bone of contention between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Though the Chief Ministers of the two States have agreed in principle to sort out differences over river water sharing, the Telangana Irrigation Department officials have been complaining to the Krishna River Management Board about ‘overdrawal’ of water by AP.