Hyderabad: In a significant development, the Telangana government on Saturday refused to accept the illegal Pothireddypadu project being built by Andhra Pradesh on Krishna River, without water allocation and environmental clearances, despite stay orders issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT). It had termed the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme which lifts water to the Pothireddypadu canal, too as an illegal project.
Further, . The government has decided not to allow usage of water for Pothireddypadu project under any circumstances and argue before the KRMB against the illegal projects taken up by the Andhra Pradesh government.
A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao at Pragathi Bhavan here, to discuss on Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme being illegally constructed by the Andhra Pradesh government as well as lifting water into the irrigation projects and hydel power generation in the State among others. Though the Bachawat tribunal allowed utilisation of en bloc allocations in Krishna River water, Andhra Pradesh should use them only for the irrigation projects with assured water allocations.
The high-level meeting rejected the ongoing temporary allocation of Krishna River waters in the ratio of 66:34 between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Instead, the government has decided demand for water allocation between both the States on 50:50 ratio from the current year itself and accordingly seek allocation of half of 811 TMC of assured waters in Krishna River i.e. 405.5 TMC to Telangana until the Krishna Water Tribunal makes final allocations.
As per the decision taken by the State Cabinet, the government will continue hydel power generation at full capacity as long as water is available from the Jurala, Srisailam, Nagarjuna Sagar and Pulichinthala projects. In the absence of terms of agreement between the two States on hydel power generation, the government felt that the KRMB has no authority to stop hydel power generation. It has also refuted the Andhra Pradesh government’s misinformation campaign that Telangana was wasting Krishna River water by releasing water into the sea for generating electricity at Pulichintala. The officials suggested the Andhra Pradesh counterparts to meet the needs of farmers in Krishna district from the Prakasam Barrage with water released from Pulichintala and thus, reduce the cost of electricity used to lift Godavari River water from Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme.
The high-level meeting made it clear that the Telangana government was utilising Krishna River waters to generate hydel power within the legal purview to not only meet its electricity needs, but also for supplying drinking water to Hyderabad and other places under Mission Bhagiratha. Considering the rising air pollution levels due to thermal power generation and also the Centre’s recent guidelines to the States to strive for environmental protection by generating 51 per cent ‘clean energy’, the government is only implementing the guidelines and decided to continue generating hydel power. The meeting also ridiculed the Andhra Pradesh government’s complaint to KRMB against power generation through Telangana was using its rightful share of water to generate power at Srisailam project which was exclusively meant for power generation.
Further, the State government felt that it was unfair on part of Andhra Pradesh government to stubbornly dump construction material at Pothireddypadu project in the name of survey even after the NGT has warned to order for imprisonment of its Chief Secretary for violating its previous stay orders. It has decided to release water through both right and left canals of Jurala project to fill the tanks and other water bodies in Telangana State. The recenly completed Samakka barrage along with Seethamma Sagar projects will be hereafter considered as irrigation and hydro electric projects.
The government decided to continue its fight to protect the rights of Telangana in Krishna River water and also in the interest of its farmers without any compromise. The officials were instructed not to allow anyone other than the employees of Telangana electricity department with valid identity cards into the Telangana territory on Srisailam Dam, besides taking all measures for protection of all irrigation projects in the State.