HYDERABAD: Good monsoon rains notwithstanding, the water war between AP and Telangana has intensified with the former deciding to lodge a complaint with the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) alleging violation by Telangana.
AP irrigation minister Devineni Umamaheswar Rao said on Saturday that his government will also write to Union water resources minister Uma Bharati seeking ‘justice’ for the lower riparian state of Andhra Pradesh. He alleged that the Telangana government has been doing injustice to AP by not following the orders of the KRMB and releasing water to four new irrigation projects. A formal complaint will be lodged on Monday.
The fight between the two states has recently escalated after the Telangana government released water into four lift irrigation projects as part of the ‘trial run’. The projects, Bhima, Koilsagar, Nettempadu, Parallel and Kalwakurthy, were formally inaugurated by Telangana irrigation minister T Harish Rao on Friday. These projects, which have been pending for long and were completed recently, draw water from the Jurala project across river Krishna in Mahbubnagar district. The AP government fears that diversion of water from Jurala to the four major lift irrigation projects will affect the inflows into Srisailam dam, which is under its control. Srisailam serves the irrigation and drinking water needs of parts of Rayalaseema in AP and Nalgonda and Khammam in Telangana.
The Jurala project, which was almost empty earlier this month, received copious inflows from Narayanpur dam in the upstream of the river in Karnataka. On Friday, Telangana irrigation officials released about 16,000 cusecs of water to these new projects. Now, the AP officials are worried over the ‘diversion’ as it would further delay inflows into Srisailam reservoir. The major dam takes care of both irrigation and power generation requirements of AP and Telangana. The water level in the dam at present is 788 feet as against the full reservoir level of 885 ft.
The diversion of water, according to Andhra Pradesh officials, was not approved by the KRMB at its recent meeting. Though both states made representations based on their needs, the KRMB agreed to provide for the drinking water needs of Hyderabad. The demand of 16 tmc ft submitted by AP was turned down. Telangana wanted water for the ‘trial run’ to the projects but that was rejected by the board.
“The KRMB had not agreed to give water for the trial run of Bhima, Kalwakurthy and Nettempadu projects. Without any approval, Telangana has been diverting the Krishna water, which otherwise should reach Srisailam,” said Sashibhushan Kumar, AP irrigation secretary.
While all projects in the upstream of Krishna are filled to the brim, Srisailam dam has not received the first inflows of the season. The water level in Almatti dam has reached the full reservoir capacity with over 128 tmc ft stored in the reservoir. Narayanpur and Jurala are also filled to the brim.
“We are yet to receive Krishna water this season. The gates of Almatti have been closed. The discharge from Narayanpur has also come down. The diversion of water from Jurala will further reduce inflows to Srisailam,” Gonepati Chittibabu, chief engineer of Kurnool, told TOI.
“Being the lower riparian state, we are faced with numerous problems. Heavy storage in Almatti and Narayanpur dams have pushed the crop season by a month to July. And now Telangana is diverting water from Jurala. This will further delay inflows to Srisailam,” the minister said.