Telangana seeks to end dam row with AP by January end

The RDS is crucial for Telangana state, as it irrigates about 84,000 acres in the state. The area cultivated in AP is about 4,000 acres.

Hyderabad: Officials of the irrigation department want to clear disputes with Andhra Pradesh regarding the Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme (RDS) on the Tungabhandra river by the end of January to complete modernisation work in time for the season. The disputes have not been resolved for decades, and the strengthening of the dam.

Irrigation officials said the structure is weak and may be washed away in the event of heavy floods. They want to strengthen it, and raise the height by 0.15 feet. Though the decision of increasing the height was taken in the united Andhra Pradesh, now the AP government does not accept it, as it may affect farmers in Kurnool district. TS officials are willing to retain the dam at the same height if the AP side insists on it.

Andhra Pradesh uses the water that leaks out from the project for irrigation. The leaks will be plugged after repairs, and TS is willing to compensate AP for the water lost. TS officials feel that if AP is assured that it will not suffer any loss, they may agree to increasing the project height.

The anicut always overflows during the rainy season. The overflow water flows to the Sunkesula project and is used to irrigate fields in Kurnool. The RDS is crucial for Telangana state, as it irrigates about 84,000 acres in the state. The area cultivated in AP is about 4,000 acres.

The discussion regarding the RDS took place in a recent meeting of the Tungabhadra Board which asked the two Telugu states to resolve the issue by discussions. TS has been allocated 15.9 tmc ft from RDS but gets an average of 5 tmc ft due to leakages.

TS officials have decided to resolve the issue by secretary and minister-level meetings. An official from the Telangana irrigation department said, “We will soon meet officials of Andhra Pradesh. We think that they will agree to strengthen the RDS without increasing the height. They may demand an equivalent amount of water which they are getting from the leakages. If we complete the discussions by the end of January, we will have some time to complete the works by the coming season.”

An official said TS can gain at least 10 tmc ft if the structure is strengthened and its height raised by 0.15 ft. If AP does not allow for increasing the height, TS will still benefit by 8 tmc ft.

The RDS modernisation works are divided into eight packages in which the first package is in dispute, TS officials have a problem with the works done in Karnataka in the second package. Several letters were submitted to the Karnataka government to change the agency as work was being delayed. The rest of the packages are almost complete.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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