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Avoid live & let die stance

Avoid live & let die stance
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Temporary truce apart, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, must be prepared for a long haul as far as river waters sharing is concerned. Going by the mood...

Temporary truce apart, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, must be prepared for a long haul as far as river waters sharing is concerned. Going by the mood of the two State governments, there is little to suggest that sharing of river waters will be either easier or a peaceful exercise.

In a year of plenty there should be no problem. But that being a mirage almost, rancor could continue to dominate the relationship between the two Telugu States, both of which still nurse their wound from the past.

The Centre got this message very clearly the other day and has understood that rationality and reason shall have no place in dealing with the vexatious issue. The arguments presented by the two States sounded so technical to the Centre that it had to throw up its hands and ask the two to thrash out the issue between them.

During the course of negotiations that spilled over to the third day recently over sharing of Krishna River Waters and on the draft notification of the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB), it was evident to the Centre that the root of the problem lay in the haphazardly drafted AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.

During the course of negotiations that spilled over to the third day recently over sharing of Krishna River Waters and on the draft notification of the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB), it was evident to the Centre that the root of the problem lay in the haphazardly drafted AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.

This has not only given a scope for both the States to read too much in between the lines but more than that interpret the meaning of the lines conveniently. Pending the disposal of the case in the Apex Court and the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal proceedings for paving the way for the final award, the most contentious issue that has come to the fore now is the draft notification of the KRMB. The KRMB has been formed for regulating the water supply between the two States as far as the Krishna river is concerned

This has not only given a scope for both the States to read too much in between the lines but more than that interpret the meaning of the lines conveniently. The very Bachawat Award is now being read in varied contexts thanks to the AP Reorganisation Act.

Pending the disposal of the case in the Apex Court and the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal proceedings for paving the way for the final award, the most contentious issue that has come to the fore now is the draft notification of the KRMB. The KRMB has been formed for regulating the water supply between the two States as far as the Krishna river is concerned.

With the AP government demanding that all projects on the Krishna river be brought under the jurisdiction of the Board for water distribution, Telangana began opposing the same fearing it would mean handing over the control over Nagarjunasagar dam (meant for water supply) and Srisailam project's power production to the Board to the advantage of the lower riparian State.

The Ministry of Water Resources which issued the draft notification that was made public recently exercised powers conferred by the sub-section (1) of the Section 87 of AP Reorganization Act, 2014 in preparing a list of projects that would come under the purview of the KRMB.

The guiding principles for taking jurisdiction of projects under KRMB are as follows.
1. Projects where water is to be regulated for various uses by both the State governments;
2. Projects where only power is generated and is used by both the State governments;
3. Projects where water is used by one State and power so generated is used by the other;
4. Projects where utilisation of water by one State will be affecting the allocation of water to the other;
5. Projects desired by any of the State governments;
6. All categories of projects which will not be directly under the administrative control of the Board and are being operated or maintained by the respective State government shall be under the purview of the Board for the purpose of monitoring and water accounting.

Accordingly, the Centre wanted to bring the following projects or components of the same under the jurisdiction of the Board as Phase I with effect from the publication of the Gazette notification. These are as under.

Priyadarshini Jurala Head Works.
1. Head Regulators of Left and Right Canals;
2. Head Regulators of Bhima Lift Irrigation Scheme;
3. 1st Power House of Nettampadu Lift Irrigation Scheme; and
4. 1st Power House of Koilsagar Lift Irrigation Scheme

N Sanjeeva Reddy Sagar Project (Srisailam) Head Works.
1. Srisailam Dam (including power houses);
2. Pothireddypadu Head Regulator;
3. Alimineti Madhava Reddy Project (AMRP) Tunnel Srisailam Left Bank Canal (SLBC) Left side of Srisailam reservoir (Presently the water is being drawn from the foreshore of the Nagarjuna Sagar Reservoir through Lift Scheme. After completion of Tunnel Scheme, this water will be drawn through the AMRP tunnel and become a gravity scheme);
4. Veligone Tunnel (right side of Srisailam reservoir);
5. Head Works of Mahatma Gandhi Lift Irrigation Scheme (Kalwakurthy) (Water would be drawn from the foreshore of Srisailam reservoir on left bank of the river from flood waters);
6. Head works of Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanthi (HNSS) Lift Irrigation Scheme (LIS) (Water would be drawn from the foreshore of Srisailam reservoir on right bank of the river).

Nagarjuna Sagar Head Works.
1. Nagarjuna Sagar Project (NSP) Dam including all power houses;
2. Head Regulator of Hyderabad Metro Water Supply(lift scheme). (The water drawn from the foreshore of the Nagarjuna Sagar Reservoir is stored in the AMRP balancing reservoir where from the releases are made for both HMWS and Irrigation requirement under AMRP. The AMRP project is taken up based on the flood waters. Therefore, this balancing reservoir shall also be under the control of the Board);
3. Head Regulator of AMRP (SLBC) Lift Scheme. (After completion of Tunnel Scheme at Srisailam, the drawls from foreshore of Nagarjuna Sagar will be dispensed with);
4. Head Regulator of Nagarjuna Sagar Jawahar (Right) Canal;
5. Head Regulator of Nagarjuna Sagar Lal Bahadur (Left) Canal and common portion of the canal.

The draft notification thus does not make any distinction between the power generating project or irrigation project and between the Left or Right canals.

As AP government demanded or as opposed by the Telangana government, the question of handing over management of the Right Canal of Nagarjuna Sagar to AP does not figure in this.

It further explains that the NS Left Canal serves the districts of Nalgonda and Khammam in the State of Telangana and districts of Krishna, small part of West Godavari in the State of Andhra Pradesh.

The important locations along the main canal are cross-regulators, in-fall and out-fall regulators of Devulapalli balancing reservoir (near Miryalaguda, Nalgonda District) and in-fall and out-fall regulators of Paleru balancing reservoir and Cheruvu Madhavarm tank on 16th and 17th branch canals, Khammam District, apart from the inter-State border and all these shall be under control of the board.

The jurisdiction of the Board at the head works of Sunkesula Barrage, Dr K L Rao Sagar (Pulichintala) and Prakasam Barrage is proposed to be limited to the extent of monitoring of inflows and the outflows for the integrated operation of reservoir with Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar Reservoir by the Board as utilisation at these projects do not have any impact on any other State. The advice of the Board for release for the purpose of integrated operation of all such reservoirs shall be binding for the operation of Sunkesula Barrage and K L Rao Sagar.

The draft notification also has details of several other technicalities involved in the maintenance of the dams and projects and stipulates that the States have to strictly adhere to their allocated share of water for respective medium and major projects.

The details of inflows and utilisation of water, cropping pattern, cropped area and irrigation scheduling will have to be informed to the Board before and after the crop season, it maintains. The reference document will be the Krishna Waters Dispute Tribunal-1 award, it categorically asserts.

If squabbling continues, this notification is the solution that the Centre could propose. It is time the States read the same accurately and adopt live and let live policy!

By: W. Chandrakanth

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