Injustice to Telangana in the matter of Krishna waters was much more during the 10-year rule of Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) than in erstwhile combined Andhra Pradesh as the water diversion capacity to the areas outside the basin in A.P. more than doubled since 2014, Minister for Irrigation N. Uttam Kumar Reddy stated in the State Assembly on Monday.
Making a powerpoint presentation on the issue of Krishna waters on two large LED screens, the Minister explained that the actual diversion of water had also gone up by over 50% since the formation of Telangana. From the diversion of 727.15 tmcft water from Srisailam by A.P. between 2004-05 and 2013-14, it had gone up to 1,201.54 tmcft between 2013-14 and 2023-24.
Similarly, water drawal capacity from Srisailam reservoir to the outside basin areas was enhanced from 51,700 cusecs (4.47 tmcft/day) till 2014 to 1,52,422 cusecs (13.17 tmcft/day) in 2024. “The injustice in separate Telangana was much more than in combined A.P.,” the Minister said and attributed it to the “inefficient” handling of the matter by the “incompetent” BRS government led by K. Chandrasekhar Rao.
He accused the previous government of mortgaging the State’s interests from Day One as it had agreed to just 299 tmcft water share to Telangana against 512 tmcft to A.P. from the 811 tmcft en bloc allocation made to combined A.P. by Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-I, forgetting the fact that it was due to injustice done to the region in the matter of river waters along with allocation of funds and jobs.
In case the BRS government was committed to protect the interests of Telangana, it should have asked for at least 731 tmcft including 299 tmcft for existing projects, 225.4 tmcft for ongoing projects and another 206.5 tmcft for contemplated ones. Even if the need for existing and ongoing projects was taken into consideration, it should have been 525 tmcft, Mr. Uttam Reddy pointed out.
The Minister gave a description of how Telangana had agreed to an interim ad hoc arrangement of 299 tmcft water based on the earmarked utilisations at the first meeting convened by the Ministry of Water Resources with the two States in June 2015 and how the working arrangement was repeatedly agreed upon till 2020-21. Only from 2021-22, the previous government had started seeking 50% share until adjudication of the water shares by the tribunal.