Telangana has termed the request of Andhra Pradesh for diversion of additional 2 tmc ft of water from Tungabhadra Dam to the TBP-Right Bank High Level Canal (HLC) as “untenable and against the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-I award and would be detrimental to the requirements of Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme (RDS) already getting deficit flows.
In a letter addressed to the Secretary of Tungabhadra Board, Engineer-in-Chief (General-Irrigation) of Telangana C. Muralidhar said on Tuesday that utilisation of Krishna water for Kurnool-Cuddapah (KC) Canal from Srisailam reservoir by A.P. for diversion of another 2 tmc ft water to HLC from Tungabhadra dam, in addition 2 tmc ft water already being diverted, is not agreeable to Telangana till RDS gets its quota.
Against the allocation of 15.9 tmc ft water to RDS (Telangana), the maximum volume of water reaching the ayacut in Jogulamba-Gadwal district is not going beyond 5-6 tmc ft even in the best case scenario, although A.P. has been drawing water indiscriminately from Srisailam without any allocations and approvals.
The ENC pointed out that KWDT-I had imposed restrictions on A.P. and Karnataka on the utilisation of water in Tungabhadra Sub-Basin and held that Tungabhadra river shall contribute substantial flows to the main stream of Krishna river for utilisation of downstream projects. Contrary to the view of KWDT-I, A.P. had been using Tungabhadra river flows and regulated releases from Tungabhadra dam to KC Canal.
In addition, A.P. was also drawing water to KC Canal from three unauthorised sources — from escape channel at Banakacherla cross regulator, from Muchumarri lift scheme and from Malyala pumping station, all drawing water from Srisailam — and diverting regulated releases meant for KC Canal to HLC from Tungabhadra dam.
“The practice of shifting drawals of KC Canal from Tungabhadra to Krishna river by A.P. is not only in violation of KWDT-I but also affecting the interests of Telangana (a lower riparian State) and the clauses cited by A.P. are not valid,” the ENC explained to the TB Board Secretary. The TB Board must know that Telangana was not getting even 5 tmc ft water from RDS against its protected quantity of 15.9 tmc ft as the damaged shutters of river sluices and construction of sluices in the body wall of RDS anicut were affecting level build-up to allow required head for canal towards Telangana.
Keeping such reasons in mind, the Tungabhadra Board has fixed 5.157 tmc ft on pro-rata basis to RDS (Telangana) for 2020-21 water year but the volume realised by Telangana was only 1.182 tmc ft. Regulated releases to RDS during the lean period (November-May) is not being realised in RDS Canal due to delay in modernisation of the anicut and reaching Sunkesula for use of KC Canal.
The ENC requested the Board Secretary to complete modernisation works at the earliest so that Telangana is allowed required flows for utilisation of allocated water for RDS Canal.