The governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have locked horns again over the release of additional water to the Krishna region. The 3.6 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) water that was being released from Nagarjuna Sagar dam for the Krishna district region of Andhra on the direction of Krishna River Management Board will be stopped from Tuesday, July 1.
However, only 2.74 TMC water has reached the Krishna Delta, according to officials of Krishna Delta System. “Loss due to evaporation and craters caused by sand mining reduces water flow. Of the 2.74 TMC, less than 1 TMC has reached the Prakasam Barrage for further distribution down stream.
Unless additional water is released we won’t be able to fulfil the drinking water requirements next week,” K Srinivas Rao, Superintending Engineer of Krishna Delta Systems said. Andhra Pradesh is seeking 10 TMC water to fulfil the drinking water requirements of the four districts – Krishna, Guntur, West Godavari and Prakasam.
The Chief Engineer at Nagarjunana Sagar Dam in Nalgonda district Billa Yellareddy said additional water will be released only if fresh orders are given by the Krishna River Management Board. “Water release will stop from Tuesday. We have no fresh orders to release additional water,” Yellareddy said.
On June 24, the Krishna River Management Board directed the Telangana government to release 6,000 cusecs of water per day for a week from the Nagarjuna Sagar dam but did not specify if the Board would review the situation on July 1. Both states are grappling with water and power shortage as rains have been delayed by over three weeks now and the water level at all major reservoirs has fallen drastically.
While AP Irrigation Minister D Uma Maheshwara Rao and officials of Krishna Delta Systems have appealed to the Telangana government to release an additional 6 TMC water, the Telangana government is not likely to release any more water. Telangana officials said that with the monsoon playing truant they need to store water in case there are no rains.
Telangana Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao said the water released to AP was enough for meeting drinking water requirements. “We will release enough to cover drinking water requirements but they want more water for their nurseries and farms. Telangana districts are also in need of water. We have to meet the requirements of Hyderabad and surrounding areas as well as Nalgonda and Khammam districts. We are doing everything we can under the present circumstances,” Harish Rao said.