VIJAYAWADA, HYDERABAD: Andhra Pradesh has made it clear to the Tamil Nadu government that henceforth only 2.5 tmcft water would be released annually to Chennai through Telugu Ganga as against the 5 tmcft that it earlier agreed to provide.
The stand was made clear to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam when he called on his AP counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu at the Interim Government Complex at Velagapudi near here on Thursday.
As per the interstate agreement of 1983, AP should release 5 tmcft at the TN border from Kandaleru reservoir.
However, the State government has so far released only 1 tmcft and due to acute drinking water scarcity in Chennai, Tamil Nadu has requested AP to release the remaining share of water to cater to drinking needs of people of Chennai and wrote a letter to this effect on Jan 7.
Panneerselvam explained to Naidu the difficulty that the residents of Chennai were facing on account of drinking water scarcity. However, Naidu told him that they could release only 2.5 tmcft of water per annum of the 5 tmcft as its share. “The agreement to release 5 tmcft water was signed when AP was an integrated state. Now Telangana is a separate state and it should release balance 2.5 tmcft,” Naidu said.
During the meeting, Naidu agreed in principle to release the remaining 1.5 tmcft water of the total 2.5 tmcft share of AP.
‘‘As we have already released 1 tmcft, a decision on releasing remaining 1.5 tmcft will be taken after considering the availability of water in Kandaleru reservoir and also the local water demand,” Naidu said. Sources said in the meeting it was decided that irrigation secretaries of both the states should hold a meeting at Tirupati to take a decision on further water release to Chennai.