Tuesday, February 27, 2024

TS govt not to hand over irrigation projects to KRMB Assembly passes unanimous resolution opposing hand over

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  • NAVEENA GHANATE

    The Telangana Assembly passed a unanimous resolution on Monday declaring that it would not hand over its irrigation projects to the Krishna River Management Board
    (KRMB) unless the Board accepts the conditions of the state government.
    Moving the resolution in the House, Irrigation Minister Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy said, “In view of the historical injustice and the current situation the house hereby
    resolves that the Government of Telangana shall not hand over control of common irrigation projects to KRMB unless the conditions put forth by the state are fulfilled.”
    After around four hours of debate, the House unanimously passed the resolution. In his detailed PowerPoint presentation, Uttam said the BRS government failed to secure Telangana’s rightful share of Krishna River water and had decided to hand over the projects to KRMB.
    The conditions include Water sharing between AP and Telangana shall be on the basis of catchment area, drought prone area and basin population and cultivable area. The
    second condition is that in-basin needs should be given priority as per KWDT-I. The third condition is that the Srisailam project was sanctioned as a hydro-electric project by the Planning Commission in 1962 for supplying 264 TMCs to the Nagarjunasagar project.
    Accordingly, the MDDL of Srisailam shall be +830 feet as per the KWDTI Award.
    The fourth condition is that outside basin diversions from the Srisailam reservoir should be limited to 34 TMCs (15 TMCs for Chennai water supply and 19 TMCs for SRBC) which were approved by the CWC.
    The fifth condition is that drinking water would be reckoned as 20% of the draw for consumptive use as stipulated by KWDT-I. Another condition is that states would be
    permitted to carryover water to the next year as per KWDT-I and shall not be accounted as use in the next year account.
    The final condition is that unauthorised construction of projects/expansions/new components diverting Krishna River water outside the basin would not be permitted strictly unless approved by the CWC or MoWR.
    “After the formation of Telangana, sufficient attention was not given to the requirements of the Krishna Basin and the then government agreed to a grossly unfair water sharing ratio between the two states, which is 299 TMCs for Telangana and 512 TMCs for Andhra Pradesh,” Uttam said. The Irrigation Minister pointed out that on the night of November 29, 2023, the Government of AP sent its armed police and forcibly took over control of the right side of the Nagarjunasagar Dam, which was till then under the control of Telangana. The Centre sent CRPF to remove the AP Police, he said.
    The House also resolved to request the Centre to withdraw the CRPF and hand over control of the project to the Telangana Government.
    Uttam gave a PowerPoint presentation explaining the resolution’s objectives and accused the BRS rulers of surrendering Telangana’s interests by agreeing to 512 TMCs for Andhra Pradesh and 299 TMCs for Telangana. He asserted that the BRS rulers decided to give up control of irrigation projects and gave a detailed chronology of meetings and events and their implications to substantiate his allegation. Uttam said the BRS Government signed this agreement although it has serious implications. KWDT-I did not provide project-wise allocation, instead, it made an en bloc allocation.
    Although Telangana dominates in terms of basin parameters like catchment area, drought-prone area, basin population and cultivable area, it is eligible for the 70% ratio and should have negotiated for any other ratio not tied to 299:512, thus restricting the future claims of Telangana, he said.
    Consequently, Andhra Pradesh heavily relies on this document when presenting it before the Tribunal and other forums, advocating for similar allocation lines.

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