Amid a raging row between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on sharing of electricity, the AP government on Sunday petitioned common Governor ESL Narasimhan on the issue.
“…The water level is going down to 856 ft (at Srisailam project). The ayacuts of SRBC in Rayalaseema needs to be protected. We tell Telangana as well, let’s protect and save water. Up to 70,000 cusecs of water is going into the sea through the Prakasam barrage. We should not be hardening out stance,” AP Irrigation Minister D Umamaheswara Rao told reporters.
“Farmers need to be protected both in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Our goal is to see that water is not lost,” he said.
Rao said he has explained “all the facts” to the Governor who will go through the relevant material concerning the issue.
“Our leader (AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu), as TDP president, tells us and also the Krishna river board chairman that farmers should be protected. I have told Governor about the facts, because water needs to be saved carefully,” he said.
There is a scarcity of 73 TMCs of water to existing levels in Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar (reservoirs) and that huge quantity of water is going into the sea, he said.
Observing that water needs to be saved, the minister said power can be purchased from other states, but even a single TMC of water cannot be obtained.
The current dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana is about power generation at Srisailam (project).
Andhra Pradesh wants Telangana to stop power generation at the Srisailam project as continued power generation would lead to water scarcity in AP in the future.
However, Telangana has refused to stop power generation in view of the prevailing acute power shortage, especially to agriculture.
The two state governments are involved in a bitter war of words over the issue.
In a no-holds-barred attack, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao had alleged that Naidu was denying the rightful share of electricity to Telangana.
Alleging that Naidu was not honouring the provisions of the AP Reorganisation Act, Rao had said on Friday that Telangana would move the Supreme Court and also sought the Centre’s intervention.
Rao had alleged that the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister sought to defame the TRS government and “he is a cheater”.
Taking exception to Rao’s criticism, AP’s communications advisor Parakala Prabhakar said on Saturday that the former’s remarks against Naidu were “unbecoming” of his stature.
“He has crossed all limits. Being a chief minister, it is highly unbecoming of KCR to use such intemperate language. Moreover, what else he spoke is blatantly false,” he said.
Prabhakar alleged that the Telangana chief minister seemed to have not understood the substance of government orders (GOs) 69 and 107 that regulate the use of water at Srisailam reservoir.
“Nowhere in the GOs it has been mentioned that water could be used for power generation in times of crisis. In fact, the current irrigation minister of Telangana, T Harish Rao, was a minister in the erstwhile Cabinet of YS Rajasekhara Reddy when the GO 107 was issued,” he said.
YSR Congress president and Opposition Leader in AP Legislative Assembly Y S Jaganmohan Reddy had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to restrain Telangana from using Srisailam water for power generation, and to create a permanent mechanism to resolve the inter-state power issues.
The opposition Congress, BJP and TDP in Telangana have attacked the TRS government for the ongoing power shortage in the state.