Andhra Pradesh fulfils part obligation on Krishna projects

Amaravati: The Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday issued an order handing over only four components (projects), on river Krishna that fell under the state jurisdiction, to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) in compliance with the Gazette Notification issued by the Union Jal Shakti Ministry in July this year.

The AP government, however, attached a rider that the handing over of the projects be done “simultaneously only”, implying that neighbouring Telangana too fulfil its similar obligation as per the Jal Shakti notification.

In addition, AP Water Resources Secretary J Syamala Rao attached a note to the KRMB Chairman requesting that necessary action be taken with respect to Jurala project also, under Telangana jurisdiction, on the upstream of river Krishna that affects inflows into Srisailam reservoir.

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Syamala Rao requested that the KRMB take over all projects of both states, including the ongoing projects upon completion, that affect inflows into the common reservoirs and that draw water directly from them.

The Union Jal Shakti Ministry issued a notification on July 15, as per the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, fixing the jurisdictions of the Godavari River Management Board and the Krishna River Management Board.

The notification said the KRMB would exercise jurisdiction over the projects and its components like head works (barrages, dams, reservoirs, regulating structures), part of canal network and transmission lines on river Krishna.

“While the State Governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana shall be responsible for managing natural calamities, the KRMB shall advise the two State Governments on the management of disaster or drought or flood in the river Krishna, particularly in reference to the release of water for the management and mitigation of the natural calamities,” the Central notification said.

The notification formally came into force on Thursday.

The AP government, however, agreed to immediately hand over only the Srisailam project spillway and river sluices, Pothireddypadu head regulator and Srisailam Right Main Canal, Handri-Neeva Lift Irrigation Scheme and the Muchumarri Lift Irrigation Scheme to the KRMB.

It also agreed to transfer the posts sanctioned in various cadres and respective field offices under these four projects to the Central body.

At a special meeting of the KRMB in Hyderabad two days ago, the AP government insisted on including the powerhouses on river Krishna, the main bone of contention between the two states, in the prioritised list for handing over to the Board.

“AP is ready for prioritised implementation of the (Jal Shakti) notification but truncated implementation with exclusion of powerhouses will not be acceptable,” the state Water Resources Secretary asserted at the Board meeting.

The Board decided that “all direct outlets (components) from the main reservoirs of Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar projects which are listed under Schedule-II of the Gazette Notification may be prioritised by respective state government for handing over to the KRMB by October 14, 2021.”

The KRMB prioritised 15 projects in both states for handing over, including the two main powerhouses each under AP and Telangana control.

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