Hyderabad: With the term of the one-year agreement on sharing of Krishna waters coming to an end, both TS and AP are now gearing up for a showdown on the new operation protocol for the forthcoming monsoon season.
Tempers have been rising on both sides due to new projects being taken up, and the fact that major reservoirs — Jurala, Srisailam, Nagarjunasagar and Pulichintala on the verge of drying up due to practically no inflows in the last two years. Now, the clamour for early release of water for the ayacut under various projects is getting more strident.
Each state is expected to insist that water should reach its project first.
While no one can predict the possible quantum of storage at the reservoirs, both states are sure to insist that they should be the first to get the water.
The Krishna River Management Board was set up to regulate the release of water among the states based on its availability and to decide allocations to the two states. However, implementation hasn’t been that smooth.
For operational convenience, KRMB has decided to entrust the responsibilities of Srisailam dam to AP and NS dam to TS, but in practice, authorities of both the project take into account instructions by their respective governments and not the KRMB directions.
The two states had picked holes in the agreement reached among them last year, though it was praised by Union water resources minister Uma Bharathi.
Though the water resource ministry set 512 tmc ft for AP and 299 tmc ft for TS as the benchmark in the sharing of Krishna waters, AP contends that 20 tmc ft allotted to the Bhima project in Mahbubnagar district and shown in TS quota should be deleted as it is was based on savings in Krishna delta in AP after its modernisation. AP’s argument that TS should bear the cost of modernisation works has been rejected by the latter.
Similarly, AP argues that only 20 tmc ft would be available from Palair, Munneru and Musi flows between NS dam and Prakasam Barrage as intermediate contribution, but TS argues that it would be 101.2 tmc ft, hence further supplements from NS Dam should not be entertained.
The KRMB also pointed out non-compliance of its orders by both the states in respect of providing information to it on the actual utilisation of Krishna waters for minor irrigation purposes.
However, water resources ministry officials intervened and entrusted the job of allocations among the states to KRMB, which shall decide project-wise releases based on the availability of water using the 512: 299 tmc ft formula even for deficit sharing.
“We have noticed some deviations by AP during the last one year on utilisation of waters. We may insist on more stringent conditions in our next meeting with KRMB. With regard to utilisations from Srisailam dam, we would be more careful in securing justice for TS this time,” said TS Engineer-in-Chief C. Muralidhar.
Meanwhile, TS irrigation department special chief secretary S.K. Joshi is optimistic of an amicable settlement of all issues between the two states. He said KRMB has not set an agenda for its May 27 meeting so far....