Water row: Telangana asks KRMB to convene full board meet

In his letter, TS Spl Chief Secy expresses objection to agenda for 3-member committee meeting which mentions only issues raised by AP 
Rajat Kumar requested KRMB to convene a full Board meeting on a mutually convenient date. (File Photo)
Rajat Kumar requested KRMB to convene a full Board meeting on a mutually convenient date. (File Photo)

HYDERABAD: Telangana Special Chief Secretary for Irrigation Rajat Kumar requested the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) to convene a full Board meeting on a mutually convenient date after July 20. The Special Chief Secretary wrote a letter on Monday, in the wake of KRMB’s decision to convene a three-member committee meeting on July 9. 

“It is surprising to note that the member-secretary has only mentioned the issues raised by Andhra Pradesh in the agenda for the three-member committee meeting scheduled on July 9. The agenda failed to mention several critical issues raised by Telangana,” said Rajat Kumar, and informed the KRMB Chairman the points to be discussed in the Board meeting: Revision of the water sharing ratio of Krishna waters for the current water year, steps to stop construction of illegal Rayalaseema LIS and RDS right canal by AP immediately, steps to stop excess diversion by AP from Pothireddypadu head regulator and other projects, to outside the basin. 

He also wrote about granting of additional share of 45 tmc-ft to Telangana in Krishna waters subsequent to the clearance of Polavaram project by CWC as per the terms of the Bachawat Tribunal, reckoning 20 per cent of total water drawn as usage towards drinking water supply, and appropriate accounting of the savings by Telangana out of the water releases ordered by KRMB. 

With regard to the power generation by Telangana from the Srisailam reservoir, it has been informed that the Srisailam Project was sanctioned by Planning Commission in 1963 as a Hydro Electric Project for supplying water to Nagarjuna Sagar Project through power generation. The Bachawat Tribunal also held this as Hydro Electric Project without envisaging diversion of water to another watershed, said Rajat Kumar in the letter.

“You are aware that the water supply systems in Telangana are predominantly dependent on lift irrigation schemes requiring huge energy inputs during Kharif season. As such there is a severe power exigency in the State now. Further, the process of power generation in Srisailam will ensure the transmission of sufficient waters to the Nagarjuna Sagar Project, which is critical for meeting the agricultural and drinking water requirements of Telangana,” Rajat Kumar said in the letter.

Under these circumstances, the Telangana government is constrained to reject the request of AP government to stop power generation from Srisailam Project. “In view of the gravity of these issues, it is felt that the matter needs to be deliberated carefully by the full Board instead of the three-member committee. It is therefore, requested to convene a full Board meeting after July 20, as the technical teams in Telangana are now busy with management of various irrigation schemes due to commencement of the Kharif season,” Rajat Kumar told the KRMB.

Srisailam project being a Hydro Electric Project for generating power without diverting water to another watershed, does not involve consumptive use of water except for evaporation losses, Rajat Kumar mentioned the relevant extract from Bachawat Tribunal award (page number 104) in his letter to KRMB chairman

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