Hyderabad: Expressing concerns over the news of combined projects of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh going under the control of the Centre, former Minister, and senior BRS leader T Harish Rao on Friday, January 19, said that the “move would not only result in water woes but also lead to a reduction in power production.”
Addressing a press conference along with party leaders Deshapati Srinivas MLC and Ravula Chandrashekar Reddy, Harish Rao voiced serious worries about combined irrigation projects shared by Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
He called on the state government to prioritize issues that could harm Telangana’s interests. Emphasizing the need for political unity, he appealed for a temporary truce during elections to collectively address state-centric concerns.
The BRS leader referred to the recent reports that combined irrigation projects might come under the control of the Centre which is based on a decision seemingly made in a high-level meeting in Delhi.
Rao cautioned that this shift could significantly favour Andhra Pradesh, posing a major threat to Telangana’s water resources.
He said that BRS party chief KCR in July 2021 strongly opposed to placing the combined projects under the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB).
“Although conditions were outlined in previous discussions, the Center had yet to accept them. The key conditions put forward by Telangana include 50-50 Distribution of Krishna water between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, specific conditions were outlined to safeguard Telangana’s interests in hydropower generation, conditions specified for the release of water from Srisailam to Nagarjuna Sagar, formation of Apex Committee before any decision on KRMB and request for the release of unused water in one year for utilization in subsequent years.” he stated.
Harish Rao also raised questions about the feasibility of bringing combined projects under the KRMB, particularly when Telangana’s share in Krishna waters remains “uncertain.”
He advocated for a balanced 50-50 distribution of Krishna water between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. “Specific conditions were laid out regarding hydropower generation, allocation of irrigation water, and the release of water from Srisailam to Nagarjuna Sagar,” he added.
Expressing deep concern over recent developments, Rao highlighted the alleged “blind agreement” by the state government to concede control to the KRMB. He warned of severe repercussions on hydropower generation, estimating a potential loss of about 5,000 million units if projects are transferred.
Terming the issue ‘alarming’, the former minister noting that such a move could disrupt on-demand electricity generation, “as the KRMB application process might lead to grid collapses.”
Rao emphasized the quick generation capability of hydroelectricity compared to the time-consuming nature of thermal power generation.
Furthermore, Rao sounded the alarm about the impact on projects under construction, particularly citing the KRMB’s effect on the left canal ayacut of Nagarjunasagar. He also raised concerns about potential risks to Hyderabad’s drinking water supply.
Talking about the concerns raised by the BRS chief, Rao said that there would be issues with the left canal ayacut of Nagarjunasagar, crucial for irrigation, concerns over the possible impact on Hyderabad’s drinking water supply sourced from Krishna.
“The government should take corrective measures and save the projects from going into the hands of KRMB or try to take it to the apex committee.” he added.