Water row: Telangana opposes Centre’s funding for Veligonda project in AP

The Telangana irrigation department remarked that the Veligonda project has no current clearance under the Central water commission.

Hyderabad: The Telangana irrigation department today opposed the funding of the Veligonda project by the Centre’s Department of Water Resources which diverts water from the Krishna river outside its basin.

The Veligonda project is located in the Prakasam district of Andhra Pradesh and has been attempting to provide irrigational facilities to drought-affected areas in the districts of Prakasam, Nellore, and Kadapa districts by diverting floodwater from the Krishna river to the Srisailam reservoir.

In a letter addressed by the Telangana state irrigation department, the Engineer in Chief wrote to the Central department of water resources upon knowing that the Veligonda project is being considered by the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sanchayi Yojna- Accelerated Irrigation Benefit Program (PMKSY-AIBP) for the time period 2021-2026.

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The letter questioned the decision by stating that the Veligonda project was approved by the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh (before the bifurcation into A.P and Telangana) and was based on the surplus water coming out of river Krishna.

The engineer in chief remarked that the project has no current clearance under the Central water commission and is also listed under the gazette notification of July 15 as an unapproved project. It was thus argued against the central water resources department’s consideration and said that it “vehemently opposed” the same.

The letter asked the Central department to verify if the project was at all eligible for funding.

Post the bifurcation of Telangana from the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh, water distribution has become a contentious issue with regard to various projects. The coming meeting of the Krishna River management board (KRMB) on September 1 will decide its funding as both the telugu states have been defaulting on funds for the past three years.

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