The row between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh over sharing of Krishna water took a turn for the worse Friday when Irrigation Department officials of both states accompanied by their respective police locked horns at the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam.
On Wednesday night, the Telangana government had stopped the release of water to Andhra Pradesh through the Right Bank Canal stating that the latter had already utilised its quota of water allotted to it as per the calculation under the Bachawat Tribunal Award.
Telangana Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao said Andhra Pradesh had already utilised it quota and had started over-drawing. However, Andhra Irrigation Minister D Umamaheshwara Rao maintained that his state was only demanding its rightful share which is still available with the dam and dismissed the Telangana government’s allegations as mere lies.
Friday afternoon, officials of the Andhra Irrigation Department, armed with a directive issued by the state government to ensure that 5,000 cusecs of water is released for Andhra Pradesh to save the standing crop, walked towards the dam’s control room which is under the jurisdiction and control of the Telangana government. However, at the small gate in the middle of the dam, Telangana officials and special police officials prevented them from entering, leading to heated arguments.
“We told our AP counterparts that we could not open the floodgates until we receive orders from Krishna River Water Management Board or Telangana government. They were upset and tried to barge in leading to a tense situation. We are helpless, so are they because we are all under orders from our respective governments,’’ an official said.
Later in the evening, Telangana defused the situation with Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao asking AP to furnish in writing how much water it needed to save the crops and the government would take steps to ensure its release. “There is only 63 tmcft of water left in the dam and AP government is misleading people by claiming that there is 110 tmcft left of which AP’s share is another 30 tmcft,’’ he said.
Accusing Andhra Pradesh of over-utilising waters by 44 tmcft, the Telangana government closed the gates of the Nagarjunasagar Dam’s Right Branch Canal on Wednesday evening.