HYDERABAD: This year Chennai may not get its full allocation of 15 tmcft of Krishna water for drinking purpose from Kandaleru reservoir in AP as water levels have touched rock bottom. At the most, Chennai may get little less than five tmcft water from Telugu Ganga Project.
Chennai has so far got only 1.6 tmcft Krishna water. Bachawat Award had provided 15 tmcft of water to Chennai for drinking needs of its residents. Tamil Nadu irrigation engineer-in-chief Bhaktavatsalam explained the grim situation Chennai was facing at the first meeting of the committee of official representatives from four riparian states and Tamil Nadu at Telangana Jala Soudha on Wednesday.
He is quoted as having said: “We have shortage of drinking water for Chennai because of insufficient release of Krishna water through Telugu Ganga Project by Andhra Pradesh.”
It was pointed out in the meeting that the shortage of water in Telugu Ganga was on account of farmers drawing water from the canal illegally. At this juncture, Telangana engineer-in-chief C Muralidhar suggested to the Telangana officials to lay a pipeline either from Srisailam or from Somasila to draw drinking water for Chennai, to prevent evaporation and transmission losses.
“We have made some temporary arrangement for next three to four months to provide drinking water to Chennai. After examining the data of flow of water in river Krishna, we will work out a long term plan to mitigate the problems of Chennai,” Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) chairman RK Jain.
AP chief engineer Muralidhar Reddy said that they would release sufficient water to Chennai, if the KRMB released 45 tmcft from Srisailam to downstream. Maharashtra CE Munde said they were ready to release their share of water to Chennai. Karnataka officials skipped the meeting.
Speaking to TNIE, Tamil Nadu officials explained what they were getting is less as against allocated volume from Krishna, and were compensating with Kaveri water. “NE monsoon failed this year and potable water crisis stares at Chennai,” an official explained.