Retired engineers urge Centre to stop Telangana projects

‘CWC, KRMB must critica’ly examine new irrigation projects in that State’

May 30, 2020 12:23 am | Updated 12:23 am IST - VIJAYAWADA

The Retired Engineers’ Association of Navyandhra Pradesh has urged the Union government to stop Telangana from proceeding with any activity at the sites of several new projects it was taking up on Krishna river.

In a detailed letter that ran into several pages to Union Minister for Jal Sakthi (Water Resources) Gajendra Singh Skekhawat, signed by association president M. Visweswara Rao, the retired engineers urged the Centre to instruct the Central Water Commission (CWC) and the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) to critically examine the hot issue of new irrigation projects of Telangana and to ensure that it strictly complied with the provisions of the A.P. Reorganisation Act, 2014.

KRMB jurisdiction

The association also urged the Centre to notify the jurisdiction of the KRMB in terms of the A.P. Reorganisation Act and thereby protect the interests of the farmers of both the residuary States.

The letter said that even after a prolonged correspondence, the KRMB failed or was unable to conduct a study on the impact of the new projects proposed by Telangana on the Krishna, and also on the existing projects that depended on assured and flood waters.

The letter explained in detail the working arrangements of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-I (KWDT-I) which awarded 811 tmcft to the integrated Andhra Pradesh.

The letter explained that where there was a change in “scope, size, geographic location and increase in water utilisation”, it should be considered a new scheme.

Several joint KRMB meetings were held and an implementation mechanism was worked out and the same was being implemented by the States concerned. This arrangement was being continued pending project-wise allocation of Krishna water.

Andhra Pradesh was allocated 512 tmcft assured water and 150 tmcft flood water and Telangana was allocated 299 tmcft of assured water and 77 tmcft of flood water. However, Telangana was building new projects to use about 179 tmcft of flood water, the letter alleged.

The main difficulty Andhra Pradesh was facing was that the KRMB lacked jurisdiction to control Telangana from drawing only the water allocated to it, the retired engineers explained.

While the planned utilisation of Telangana area before bifurcation was 77 tmcft, the utilisation after the appointed day was 105.4 tmcft and after the completion of five new projects — Palamuru-Ranga Reddy Lift, Dindi Lift, Bhakta Ramdas Lift and Thummilla Lift irrigation schemes and Mission Bhagiratha — Telangana would using up a total of 255 tmcft.

The Union Water Resource Secretary at a meeting held on February 21 said that the projects taken up by Telangana were new, but the recent letter from the Centre to Andhra Pradesh asking it to stop its own “new projects” came as a shock, the letter added.

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