Krishna river: Telangana demands 50:50 water sharing with AP

Hyderabad: The Telangana government on Tuesday urged the Ministry of Jal Shakti to take a decision on sharing Krishna River waters before the onset of the monsoon season.

The decision will be subject to pending settlement of the issue of fair and equitable sharing of Krishna River waters by the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT).

Telangana also requested the Centre to stop Andhra Pradesh from proceeding with unauthorised schemes to draw more water through Polavaram Irrigation Project (PIP).

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Special chief secretary for irrigation Rajat Kumar wrote to the secretary for the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti seeking the central government’s urgent intervention in the issue.

In the first letter on sharing of water sharing, Rajat Kumar said that from 2015-to 16, Krishna water allocations were being made on a 66:34 ratio between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Even in 2021-22, Telangana agreed to continue with the arrangement subject to the condition that Andhra Pradesh will not divert more than 34 TMC from the Srisailam reservoir. Krishna River Management Board (KRMB), however, allowed AP to draw water far in excess of their legitimate claim of 34 TMC, he pointed out.

Telangana had raised the issue at the 16th meeting of KRMB in May this year and demanded that water distribution should be in the ratio of 50:50 for the current water year, considering the 105 TMC requirement for three operational projects — Srisailam Left Bank Canal (SLBC), Kalwakurthy LIS and Nettempadu LIS.

“This action on the part of KRMB is not legally valid as the Board is empowered to take decisions only through negotiations and mutual agreement according to the Reorganization Act 2014. Telangana has not given its consent to this allocation,” he pointed out, seeking an immediate meeting.

He also urged the Central government to resolve long-pending demands including utilisation of 45 TMC of Krishna water by Telangana’s unserved areas in basin areas, in lieu of diversion of Godavari water from Polavaram, as per the August 4, 1978 agreement of GWDT (Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal) award, from the date of clearance of Polavaram project by CWC (Central Water Commission).

Citing numerous schemes constructed and being operated under the Polavaram project to derive early benefits, he wanted the Centre to subsume them after the Polavaram project is operationalised.

Several other schemes are being directly or indirectly linked to the Polavaram project to draw excess water. The Central government was asked to restrict the demand/utilisation of AP to 493.50 TMC of assured water and the schemes having the potential to utilise more than 493.50 TMC, may immediately be stopped.

Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have been involved in water sharing disputes for the past eight years. Last year in October, officials from both states met to deliberate on the issue.

The KRMB mentioned that the state security arrangements for irrigation projects, wherever applicable, may be continued till the deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

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