HYDERABAD: The Krishna water war waged by the Telugu States is now centered around Srisailam project. In an interesting turn of events, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, on Thursday, admitted that Srisailam was originally a hydroelectric project.
Telangana authorities have been reiterating this contention ever since the AP government began constructing the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Project (RLIP).
Originally, there were no allocations for the Srisailam project, barring the 33 tmcft set aside as evaporation losses. Later, the erstwhile AP government began drawing 1,500 cusecs from Srisailam for the Chennai drinking water scheme.
The drawls from Srisailam gradually rose to 15,000 cusecs per day during NTR’s rule and to 44,000 cusecs under the YSR government. Now, the Jagan government plans to increase the drawing capacity of the RLIP to 88,000 cusecs.
It may be recalled that the erstwhile AP government had also allocated some water to the Telangana region for irrigation purposes on the order of the Bachawat Tribunal.
Bone of contention
At present, AP’s drawing capacity from Srisailam is 6.68 tmcft, whereas the Telangana’s is just 7,200 cusecs per day. Telangana officials argue that AP has been drawing water through Srisailam for use outside the Krishna basin. “Diverting river waters outside the basin without fulfilling the requirements of the people of the basin is against the principles of natural justice,” a Telangana official remarked.
Andhra Pradesh is drawing 11,500 cusecs per day from the old gates and 44,000 cusecs per day from the new gates of Pothireddypadu, besides the 5,000 cusecs drawn through the powerhouse — 60,500 cusecs in total.
If the Pothireddypadu’s drawing capacity is increased to 88,000 cusecs, the total drawing capacity of AP would increase from 76,920 cusecs to 1,20,920 cusecs.