Hyderabad: The Telangana government on Monday sought convening a full board meeting of the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) instead of the three-member committee meeting scheduled to be held on July 9. It has urged the KRMB chairman to convene the full board meeting on a mutually convenient date after July 20, stating that the technical teams in Telangana were busy with management of various irrigation schemes due to commencement of the Kharif season.
In a missive to the KRMB chairman, Special Chief Secretary for Irrigation Rajat Kumar expressed reservations over the the Board member secretary mentioning discussion only on issues raised by Andhra Pradesh over utilisation of Krishna River waters during the proposed three-member committee meeting on July 9. He observed that several critical issues raised by Telangana were not taken into consideration for discussion.
He reiterated that the Telangana government had sought discussion on revision of the water sharing ratio of Krishna River for the current water year, and steps to stop construction of the illegal Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme and RDS Right Canal by Andhra Pradesh immediately. The State government also sought discussion on granting of additional share of 45 TMC to Telangana in Krishna River water subsequent to the clearance of Polavaram project by the Central Water Commission as per the terms of the Bachawat award, reckoning 20 per cent of total water drawn as usage towards drinking water supply, and appropriate accounting of savings by Telangana out of water releases ordered by KRMB.
Further, Rajat Kumar had also clarified on power generation by the State government from the Srisailam reservoir and stated that the Srisailam project was sanctioned by the Planning Commission in 1963 as a Hydro-Electric Project (HEP) for supplying water to Nagarjunasagar project by power generation. The Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT)-I also held this as HEP without envisaging diversion of water to another watershed. “Srisailam project being a HEP for generating power without diverting water to another watershed does not involve consumptive use of water except for evaporation loss,” he cited the extract of KWDT-I.
The Special Chief Secrerary for Irrigation pointed out that water supply systems in the State were predominantly dependent on lift irrigation schemes requiring huge energy inputs during Kharif season. Considering a severe power exigency in the State, he stated that the power generation at Srisailam will ensure the transmission of sufficient waters to Nagarjunasagar project which is critical for meeting the needs of agricultural and drinking water needs in Telangana. Under these circumstances, he stated that the Telangana government was constrained to reject the requests of Andhra Pradesh to stop power generation from Srisaialam HEP.