Hyderabad: Telangana and AP states may draw more water from their respective reservoirs in the coming Krishna flood season to serve more ayacut, with the principle of ‘first come, first served’ being applied.
Jurala will be the first major reservoir across the River Krishna that will be fully under the control of Telangana. Likewise, Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar dam operations were entrusted to the governments of AP and TS respectively, by the Krishna River Management Board, with the stipulation that the engineering officials working there should obey the orders of the Board and necessarily comply with all instructions issued from time to time by it.
However, past experience showed that the officials had been following instructions of their respective governments rather than the Board. Last year, when the Board directed the Srisailam dam authorities to release waters to downstream Nagarjunasagar, the TS government complained that the AP officials had deliberately kept the level of Srisailam above 854 ft and diverted more than the quota to Handri Neeva, Galeru-Nagari, Telugu Ganga and Srisailam Right Main canal through the Pothireddypadu head regulator.
There was also a dispute over the quantum of water, over and above the allocation, diverted to Rayalaseema region. Though the KRMB had planned installation of telemetry system at vantage points along the River Krishna and canals throughout TS and AP, so far it has not been implemented.
There was also a dispute after TS complained to the Board that AP was not setting up the telemetry system at a point near Pothireddypadu head regulator which was agreed to by both the states. TS said that AP was shifting the point to some other place and claiming that the site was not correct.
Incidentally, there is no mutual agreement between the two states for the water year beginning from June 1, 2017, unlike in previous years. The earlier agreement was that AP would get 512 tmc ft and TS 299 tmc ft of water and any further sharing, below or above this quantum, should be done using this formula. The agreement also dealt with project-specific as well as en-bloc allotment to both the states.
Using this as a tool, the TS government has been drawing more waters from Srisailam than from Nagarjunasagar, arguing that it can draw water from anywhere as long as sticks to its share limit of 299 tmc ft.
Similarly, AP argues that it will use more from Srisailam to cater to the needs of Rayalaseema projects. So far, there has been no punitive action by the KRMB against either state with regard to complaints on excess usage.
The Board has been repeatedly asking both the states to provide details of utilisation of Krishna waters for various minor irrigation projects and tanks so that it can allot water withdrawals among them and also take a decision on further allocations. To this, both TS and AP have not provided complete details so far.
TS irrigation minister T. Harish Rao, during a review meeting with officials, had told them to utilise the maximum quantum of water for various schemes in the erstwhile Mahbubnagar district from Jurala and Srisailam dam.
He also promised to provide water in kharif season for eight lakh acres in the same district as canals, distributaries and field channels have been made fully operational this year.
However the fact is that there are no specified allocations and working table for many new schemes in TS and AP. “If there are more inflows in Krishna, there is no problem with usage or excess usage, when there are no inflows problems will crop up. We have to be more careful about this,” said a senior KRMB official....