HYDERABAD: Telangana State government has decided not to oppose the proposal by the Karnataka government to construct a new dam on Tungabhadra river. Karnataka revealed its plans to construct a dam with a capacity of 40 tmcft in the Tungabhadra Board meeting held here last month, as the existing Tungabhadra Dam’s storage capacity was reduced drastically due to siltage.
Irrigation officials informed Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao about Karnataka’s proposal recently. According to sources, Rao wanted them to discuss with their Karnataka counterparts over how the new dam would benefit Telangana. “Karnataka is at liberty to construct the dam as the matter lies in its jurisdiction. Even if Telangana opposes it, Karnataka will not go back on its proposal. So we cannot oppose it. Instead, we can seek a fair share of the water for Telangana,” an official explained.
Though it was proposed that 0.5 per cent of silt would be removed from the current dam, opened in 1953, subsequent governments of Karnataka have neglected the same. Now, it has become almost impossible to remove the 37 tmcft silt deposited in the dam. Hence, Karnataka has proposed another dam with 40 tmcft storage capacity to compensate the reduction of capacity in the existing dam.
Telangana officials say that the State has suffered a lot because of storage problems at the current dam and due to diversion of water to AP under Rajoli Banda Diversion Scheme (RDS). In an ayacut of around 80,000 acres under RDS, TS farmers have been able to raise crops only in around 22,000 acres of the past several years. Now, Telangana plans to demand its rightful share of the waters stored by the new dam, officials sources told Express.