The Krishna River Management Board has decided that sharing of Krishna water by Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Telangana (TS) will be done as proposed by the Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) in the apex council in October, 2020 – i.e. 66:34 (AP:TS) – for 2021-22 and until the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal II award is notified.
However, no consensus has been arrived at over hydel power generation at common reservoirs as Telangana officials staged a walkout objecting to the board’s direction to stop the power generation immediately as it is only incidental to irrigation and drinking water needs.
In the KRMB and Godavari River Management Board joint meeting held later in the day, sources said that a sub-committee was constituted for working out modalities to implement gazette notifications pertaining to the boards’ jurisdictions from October 14.
66:34 is water sharing ratio: KRMB
“Telangana has proposed for 50:50 sharing of the 811 TMC of Krishna water available. AP also has expressed its views that the agreement signed in 2015 based on the KWDT-I award should be followed since it is the only valid order in place. So, the KRMB agreed and it was decided that the river water will be used in the existing 66:34 ratio,” AP Water Resources Secretary J Syamala Rao told the media after the meeting.
AP sought 70:30 ratio of sharing, but since the KRMB has no jurisdiction over water sharing, it was decided to go ahead with the arrangement in practice now, he said.
Sources informed The Better Andhra that the KRMB agreed to the views of AP on hydel power generation issue, carry-over of water and other issues in the meeting held for over five hours in Hyderabad last evening.
Although Telangana officials walked out of the KRMB meeting, the discussion on hydel power generation at common reservoirs was once again held in the KRMB-GRMB joint meeting. AP officials sought that penalty should be imposed on TS for continuing power generation against the norms.
Counter-arguments & dissatisfaction
They argued that the 200 TMC of water used by TS should be accounted for against its share. Telangana Irrigation Special Chief Secretary Rajat Kumar, however, claimed that the KRMB’s argument that irrigation and drinking water needs take precedence to hydel power generation was “wrong reasoning” and that it would not apply to Srisailam project as it was conceived as a hydroelectric power project. With the disagreement, the board is learnt to have deferred a decision on the same.
Rajat Kumar later told the media that TS would continue with power generation. He also submitted a letter to the KRMB before the joint meeting stating that the board has no basis to ask Telangana to stop power generation. The KRMB also sought detailed project reports of the projects mentioned in the gazette notifications as unapproved from both AP and TS.
While AP is learnt to have said that it only took up projects proposed in the past, TS objected to some projects being classified unapproved. Rajat Kumar later protested the decision and expressed “extreme dissatisfaction” over the decisions at the meeting.
He also alleged that Telangana was being harassed in the name of illegal projects and said, “The foundation for Kalwakurthy project was laid in the 80s. How is it new? This type of harassment is unacceptable. We will fight and with full cooperation we will present our case for consideration,” he said.
AP officials rebutted the allegations and made a detailed presentation on how TS had tried to ‘evade’ legal scrutiny of projects such as Palamuru-Rangareddy and how it has taken up new projects.
Meanwhile, TS complained against diversion of water to outside basin using Pothireddypadu head regulator and against the proposed Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme. With regard to implementation of the gazette notifications, AP officials informed that they have some reservations which have been submitted to the MoJS. TS also said it would submit its objections to the Centre.
Following this, a sub-committee was constituted for finalising the modalities as the notifications come into effect from October 14.It may be recalled that both the KRMB and the Ministry of Jal Shakti had asked TS to stop hydel power generation.