KRMB’s ‘bias’ jeopardising AP’s water interests: AP CM to Centre

At a time when both Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are waging bitter water wars, AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Monday wrote to Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, complaining that the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) is acting in a biased manner.

“It has been observed that KRMB has shown and is showing discriminatory attitude against the interests of Andhra Pradesh. KRMB acts swiftly on the false complaints of Telangana and ignores the genuine complaints of AP,” alleged Reddy.

He said Andhra Pradesh has time and again requested the river body to act in a fair manner.

The Andhra Pradesh CM’s Monday letter to Shekhawat is one of several which he has already written to the Centre over the raging water disputes.

“It is disheartening to bring to your notice that the state of Telangana continues to blatantly violate the provisions of APR Act, 2014, acting in a whimsical manner with utter disregard to the operational protocols and directions of KRMB,” wrote Reddy.

The Chief Minister highlighted that Telangana’s alleged violations are causing a lot of distress to Andhra Pradesh, depriving its rightful share and wasting precious water into the Bay of Bengal.

Though power generation is incidental to irrigation needs, he complained that Telangana has started utilising Srisailam reservoir waters for power generation from the very first day of the water year which started on June 1, well below the minimum draw down level (MDDL) of 834+ ft.

He said the neighbouring state is generating power keeping KRMB in the dark even when there was no irrigation requirement under Nagarjuna Sagar project and Krishna delta system.

“The state of Telangana is not allowing water levels to be built up in the Srisailam reservoir and has utilised 19 TMC for power generation out of 26 TMC inflows since June 1,” said Reddy.

Because of this ‘adamant’ attitude of Telangana, the Andhra Pradesh CM noted that it will be a herculean task for water levels to reach 854+ ft, which is crucial for drawing water through gravity for the schemes dependent on Pothireddypadu head regulator.

“This will cause severe distress to the chronically drought-prone Rayalaseema region, Nellore, Prakasam districts and also Chennai city as they depend on Srisailam reservoir for their drinking water and irrigation needs,” Reddy reiterated.

According to the CM, Telangana is also unilaterally operating hydel power generation from Nagarjunasagar project, keeping KRMB in the dark and violating water withdrawing protocols.

Similar is the case, said Reddy about Pulichintala project which is a balancing reservoir intended to stabilise Krishna Delta System.

He alleged that the intention of Telangana is to deprive the state of Andhra Pradesh its due share of allocated water, leading to considerable withdrawals, delay and wastage into the sea and demanded KRMB account for the unauthorised siphoning of water.

Reddy reminded that the southern state had brought to the Ministry of Jal Shakti’s (MOJS) notice the nature of Telangana leadership’s violations several times, including its unauthorised projects.

He said Palamuru Ranga Reddy LIS, Dindi LIS, raising Kalwakurthy LIS scope from 25 tmc to 40 tmc, SLBC’s from 30 tmc to 40 tmc and others were unauthorised projects.

Despite repeated complaints, Reddy said no effective steps were taken against the unauthorised projects being allegedly executed without appraisal of DPRs by KRMB or scrutiny by the CWC.

“Under these circumstances we request your good self to prevail upon the state of Telangana to stop at once the indiscriminate drawal (withdrawal) of water solely for power generation when there is no need for irrigation and to direct the KRMB to be neutral,” Reddy appealed to Shekhawat.

He also demanded KRMB to first visit unauthorised projects in Telangana before visiting Rayalaseema lift irrigation scheme.

“It is earnestly requested that the jurisdiction of KRMB may notified immediately and all the offtakes which include water for irrigation, power and drinking water on common reservoirs may be kept under the control of KRMB with CISF security for effective operation and maintenance in the interest of both the states,” he added.

Reddy requested for Shekhawat’s intervention and immediate action for resolving the many water disputes between the two states.