Death knell for Telangana interests: Harish Rao
Hyderabad: The BRS on Friday urged the state government not to hand over control of its projects on River Krishna to the Krishna River Management Board, warning that doing so “will be suicidal to the interests of Telangana.”
Former irrigation minister T. Harish Rao, addressing a press conference, said the decision could well make the state a prisoner of the KRMB, Central Water Commission, and the Apex Committee which will then take decisions on how and when Telangana can use water from the projects on the river in the state.
“This is not about politics. This is about staking the interests of the state in someone else’s hands,” Harish Rao said, appealing to the government to take note of the concerns and ensure control over Krishna River projects remains with the state government. “If we give up control, we will be at the mercy of KRMB, the Central Water Commission, and the Apex Committee to release water, to generate hydel power for grid management and other needs, and for supply drinking water in the state including Hyderabad city,” Harish Rao said.
He said it has emerged that at a meeting earlier this week in Delhi with KRMB officials held with irrigation officials from Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh, officials from Telangana expressed willingness to hand over the control of projects to KRMB, in line with what AP had said earlier.
“Such a move will benefit AP and will be a severe loss for Telangana. When BRS was in power, the same proposal was mooted but KCR rejected it firmly. Among the conditions we laid for such a proposal to move forward is that share of Telangana in Krishna water be first established on a 50-50 basis with AP, that 264 tmc ft (thousand million cubic feet) of water be released from Srisailam dam after generating hydel power, to the downstream Nagarjunasagar, and there must be in place an operation manual. Without these in place, any decision to hand over projects to KRMB will be a death knell for Telangana,” Harish Rao warned.
He also urged the state government to continue releasing water from Mallannasgar and Kondapochammasagar reservoirs for irrigation and advised that though there are some problems at Medigadda, around 5,000 cusecs of water is flowing in the river and some of this water can be pumped. The government can consult experts on these issues, especially with respect to running pumps which I believe are being run on a stop-and-go format which can reduce their efficiency, and push them into repairs,” he said.
BRS says KRMB control will mean: Nagarjunasagar ayacut: Since water allocation is ‘en bloc’ and not project-wise right now, AP can take water through Pothireddypadu, and reduce storage at Srisailam, TS cannot do anything to stop it, this will affect NS ayacut of approximately 5 lakh acres.
Hydel power generation: The state will lose control over 900 MW from the Srisailam Left Bank powerhouse, 815 MW at Nagarjunasagar, and 60 MW at the NS Left Canal powerhouse.
Drinking water: Supplies to Hyderabad, Mahbubngar, Nalgonda, to Mission Bhagiratha distribution network will be hit if flows to NS get reduced, or less water is available in Srisailam;
Hurdles for projects: Palamuru Rangareddy lift irrigation scheme, Dindi, Srisailam Left Bank Canal tunnel project can be stopped, and no new projects can be taken up unless KRMB says yes.