Telangana escalates water war; asks Genco to generate 100% hydel power

Deccan Chronicle.  | dc correspondent

Nation, Politics

Ignores Centre’s diktat on Srisailam project; AP fumes

Srisailam Project. (Photo:PTI)

HYDERABAD: The Telangana state government on Monday issued orders permitting TS Genco to generate hydel power up to 100 per cent installed capacity ignoring the orders of the Centre to stop hydel power generation at Srisailam project.

The move is expected to escalate the ongoing water war between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh further over sharing of Krishna water.

The AP government lodged a complaint with the union Jal Shakti ministry against Telangana state for utilising water in the Srisailam project for hydel power generation despite lower water levels. It sought immediate directions to the TS government against the move following which the Centre instructed the TS government on Sunday to stop hydel generation at Srisailam.

The Jal Shakti ministry has written to TS Genco stating,  "The TS Genco authorities are requested to stop further release of water immediately through Srisailam left power house and follow the water release orders issued by KRMB (Krishna River Management Board) except in case of extreme grid exigency."

However, a day after this, Telangana energy department secretary Sandeep Kumar Sultania issued orders stating, "Typical terrain of Telangana state leaves no option except to lift water from either of the rivers (Godavari, Krishna) to fulfill the aspirations of the farmers of the state. For this, huge power is required. At the same time, Telangana has around 2,500 MW hydel power generation installed capacity with much lower capacity utilisation. To tap more hydel power generation in the state, the government has taken a decision to generate hydel power in the state up to 100% installed capacity."

In its letter to KRMB, the AP government said that if Telangana state continues hydel power generation, they could not draw water for Chennai drinking water, Telugu Ganga, SRBC, KC Canal and Galeru-Nagari projects. In a swift reaction, the TS government dashed off a letter to KRMB indicating that Srisailam is a hydel project and not an irrigation project.

Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao in a recent Cabinet meeting had directed officials to utilise hydel power generation to optimal levels so as to provide power to various lift irrigation schemes during monsoon.  The state has generated 66.85 million units of hydel power between June 1 and 25.