DC debate: Srisailam power generation row between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent
The government is purchasing about 760 MW of power from the power exchange
Srisailam was built to generate power
Despite being a separate state, Telangana continues to suffer because of AP’s decisions. For instance, the issue of Srisailam water and the power production, where TS faces injustice.
There is a shortfall of power in Telangana now and if electricity is not supplied in time to the farmers, particularly during the harvest time, it will be detrimental to their welfare. It also may lead to shortage of food.
On an average, there is a demand of 6,800 MW power in TS. Taking into consideration the capacity of production as well as the Central share of power, on an average about 4,500 MW of power is available in the state.
The government is purchasing about 760 MW of power from the power exchange. The available hydel power in TS is about 1,000 MW, out of which 700-800 MWs is from Srisailam.
For TS this power is extremely valuable. The AP government insists that due to falling reservoir water levels at Srisailam, priority should be given to drinking water and water for irrigation.
While that is true, it is a fact that in our country some projects are build exclusively for power production. Srisailam is one such project. It has been designed exclusively for power production.
When the project was built, not even a single TMC ft of water was allocated for irrigation. Later, due to several reasons, a request was made by the state government to construct other projects.
Eventually, the right to use excess water from Srisailam came about. Subsequently, wrong interpretations have branded Srisailam an an irrigation project.
Whether it is the AP government’s argument or the opinion of Krishna Water Management Board, one must give preference to irrigation purposes. Yet, why is TS utilising Srisailam reservoir water? It is only for power production. But why the power production? It is again to provide water for irrigation to the farmers. We are producing water using water.
Both the AP government and the Krishna Water Management Board say that the river water should be utilised for irrigation purposes, which we also endorse. We only request both AP and the Krishna Board to think objectively. In case of the current projects, water allocation as well as their managements were all decided by the successive united Andhra Pradesh governments.
Those governments did not think of the needs of the Telangana farmers. To save the crops of TS farmers, we should have the right to utilise the Srisailam water up to the level of 834 ft.
AP Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has come out with a proposal that he would supply 300 MWs of power if TS stops production at Srisailam. However, only when 800 MWs of power is produced, it is possible to provide the farmer with five or six hours of supply every day.
By accepting 300 MWs of power, it is not possible to supply enough power for even a meagre four hours. TS does not want AP’s mercy. As per our right, we demand 54 per cent of power. We want our share in all the power production centres, wherever we are eligible including Krishnapatnam.
T. Harish Rao, Minister of Irrigation, Government of TS
TRS is spreading false propaganda
There is absolutely no reason for the Telangana State government to claim a right on power generation from Srisailam dam. Telangana ministers and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao have made it a bad habit of slinging mud at the AP government for all their failures and inefficiency.
Everyone needs to consider it a fact that the Srisailam dam water release operation manual is governed by two GOs, issued by the previous governments.
It is pertinent to note that as per the GO 69, issued by the previous Chandrababu Naidu government in 1996, there is restriction on power generation below 834 ft level at Srisailam. The present Telangana Chief Minister was very much a part of the government back then.
Similarly, the present TS major irrigation minister T. Harish Rao was also a part of the Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy government in 2004 when it issued GO 107 restricting release of water below 854 ft at Srisailam.
Over the last 138 days of the two newly formed states, Telangana got 90 MU of power more than its share and AP lost the same from its legitimate share.
The claim of the TS government that it has got rights to 97 TMC ft of waters from Srisailam reservoir is a false propaganda. For the projects like Kalwakurthy, Bhima, Nettempadu, TS will not draw water from Srisailam reservoir.
They are located above Srisail-am. Two of these projects were based on surplus waters, but were not the assured waters to stake claim. Unfortunately, despite knowing these facts, the TS government wants to spread falsehood.
In fact, they should know that the Left Bank Power House, which is now in TS, cannot generate power as per the operation manual. The power house could be put on use only when there is surplus water in the reservoir with a condition that whatever water TS uses for generating the power, the same quantity of water will have to be lifted back to reservoir on the same day.
The AP government has faced injustice in power allocations in the AP Reorganisation Act. The TS government has not suffered.
At the time of assuming office, we were short of 22 MU per day. Our Chief Minister immediately got down to business and bought 900 MW of power from outside at a cost of Rs 1,200 crore. We have not robbed anyone’s power for this. We generated power and we bought power from outside.
The TS government should not spread such falsehood or give misleading data to cover up its inefficiency and lack of foresight on the power front.
Even with regard to Krishnapatnam Power project, TS government should know that the PPAs entered during the united Andhra Pradesh regime were overturned by the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission and there is a fresh PPA for the Telangana government to stake claim.
Similarly, for the Visakhapatnam Hinduja power plant, so far there is no Power Purchase Agreement at all. How can Telangana government make accusations against Andhra Pradesh government and try to deceive people by spreading false propaganda?
Devineni Uma Maheswara Rao, Minister of Irrigation, Government of AP