TS & AP: Water war still to continue
Notwithstanding the yagnam diplomacy by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao by inviting AP Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu reciprocating the laters gesture, both the states are at loggerheads in sharing Krishna River water.
Notwithstanding the ‘yagnam’ diplomacy by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao by inviting AP Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu reciprocating the later’s gesture, both the states are at loggerheads in sharing Krishna River water.
According to official estimates, due to poor monsoon, as on October Srisailam dam has received only 60.99 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet), which is far below compared to 2012-13 of 235 tmcft. This has prompted the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB), to warn both the states to be cautious in the use of water and restrict to use of water to meet drinking purposes.
Only if the level of 510 ft at Nagarjunasagar is maintained, it would be possible to keep up supply of drinking water in the three phases under Krishna drinking water scheme to Hyderabad. Besides, Telangana is suffering from very poor inflows into other dams like Sriram Sagar, Nizamsagar and Singur-Manjeera dams, which supply drinking waters to the twin cities.
According to officials, the Sriram Sagar received 2.16 tmcft, Singur 0.69 tmcft, which makes even the north Telangana municipalities to face drinking water crisis. Krishna water dispute While this is so, sharing of Krishna water with Andhra Pradesh is still under dispute in the apex court, and the Centre wants the dispute to limit between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana without dragging other stakeholders – Karanataka and Maharashtra.
After carving out a new state, the share of water in Krishna waters to Telangana is to be determined following carving a separate statehood. The Centre feel that there is no fresh adjudication on the issue and the share of Telangana can be decided from out of the waters already allocated to Andhra Pradesh. However, the apex court is still to finalise the issue.
However, the Telangana contended that there is a need for a statutory tribunal to determine its share in the Krishna water. The new state argues that a separate allocation of water should be made and it cannot share waters with Andhra Pradesh.
Even as, the AP Reorganisation Act suggested that the term of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal shall be extended with the following terms of reference, namely: (a) shall make project-wise specific allocation, if such allocation have not been made by a Tribunal constituted under the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956; (b) shall determine an operational protocol for project-wise release of water in the event of deficit flows.
The apex court may decide as suggested by the Centre, and both the states shall have to share the waters allocated by the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal, which put more stress on both the states, as seen by the irrigation experts of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh states.
According to Brijesh Kumar Tribunal, which allocated 1,005 tmc water to combined Andhra Pradesh, now to be shared by AP (512 tmc) and Telangana (299 tmc), besides surplus water. It is pertinent that Telangana should get a big share as the state has 68 per cent of the catchment under Krishna River, where as AP has only 32 per cent.
Though, today there is hardly any surplus water, earlier Bachawat Tribunal allocated all the surplus waters to Andhra Pradesh, but now Brijesh Kumar Tribunal divided the surplus water among other member states. The present scene The water needs for the state is rising with increased industrial needs besides drinking water requirement to Hyderabad.
The situation had further deteriorated after AP refusing to stop over use of Godavari waters, on the other hand, even Telangana government fighting for its shares in Krishna waters. Despite deciding to spurs up the irrigation infrastructure like canals, reservoirs and barrages, the state of Telangana require the active support from Andhra Pradesh, say experts.
The board had allocated, recently, the 30 tmcft water available in Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar reservoirs in the ratio of 1:2 at 10 tmcft and 20 tmcft for Andhra Pradesh and Telangana respectively till fresh inflows in July. The analysts see this as a major twist in favour of Hyderabad which needed the buffer water stocks for the coming summer in spite of heavy rainfall of November which jacked up ground water sources of the HMDA area.
According to R Vidyasagar Rao, Irrigation advisor to Telangana, the state has under utilised its share whereas AP spent 7 tmcft more. On the other hand, the AP officials insisted Telangana had spent up to 85 tmcft, including minor irrigation.
Hopefully, both the states would work on a compromise agreement by sorting out the issue across the negotiating table. Or else, both the states would suffer for want of water, which may hit adversely both of them in the days to come.