Telangana writes to KRMB seeks 50% share in Krishna waters

Telangana government has requested the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) to share 50% of Krishna waters each on ad hoc basis to Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for the current water year (2021-22) by giving priority to in-basin needs till finalisation of KWDT-II award as Telangana is still suffering large distress due to insufficient water.

In a letter addressed to Chairman of the river board M.P. Singh, Engineer-in-Chief (General) of Irrigation Department C. Muralidhar stated that based on the parameters such as catchment area, cultivable area, drought-prone area and population Telangana is entitled for 70.8 ratio of Krishna waters against 29.2 for AP.

He mentioned that Telangana has put the demand of 771 tmc ft allocation for its in-basin drought-prone areas before the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal or Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-II. He also recalled that both KWDT-I and KWDT-II have emphasised that priority shall be given to in-basin areas before allowing water to meet needs of outside basin areas and the adjudication by KWDT-II in the matter was in progress.

“However, till KWDT-II finalises its award, Telangana has been asking for sharing of water in the ratio of 50:50 out of the water of the water available in Krishna river for 2021-22,” Mr. Muralidhar wrote and pointed out that A.P. has large unapproved and unauthorised diversion capability of 4.7 tmc ft a day from Srisailam and 300 tmc ft of storage capacity in Penna and other basins where it can store such diverted water from Krishna. On the other hand, Telangana has only 0.28 tmc ft diversion capability a day.

Stating that functions of KRMB include regulation of supply of water from the common projects to successor States of erstwhile AP having regard to tribunal awards and inter-State agreements already made by erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, the Telangana ENC said as the tribunal awards did not make project-wise (specific) allocation or prepared any operation protocol for common projects, an understanding would be practical to share water on ad hoc ratio year-on-year basis, pending finalisation of KWDT-II award.

In the 12th board meeting of KRMB, it was agreed to share water in the ratio of 34:66 by Telangana:AP for one year excluding utilisation under minor irrigation, diversion of Godavari waters from Pattiseema project and evaporation losses for 2020-21. Telangana ENC has reminded the KRMB Chairman that Telangana government has been continuously addressing KRMB and Ministry of Jal Shakti to restrain A.P. from diverting Krishna water to outside the basin and give priority to the in-basis requirements.

The Telangana ENC’s letter to KRMB assumes significance as it comes days after Centre’s issuance of gazette notifying the purview of the river board, effective from October 14. During the second Apex Council meeting held in October last, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao registered strong objection on A.P.’s diversion of Krishna water to outside the basin while the basin areas in Telangana are parched and craving for water.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 12:13:31 PM |

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