A bitter exchange of words has erupted between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh over the sharing of water of Nagarjuna Sagar dam. While the Andhra Pradesh government is accusing Telangana of not releasing its “rightful share of water”, Telangana claims that Andhra Pradesh has already used its share — calculated and allocated as per the Bachawat Tribunal Award — and is demanding more water.
Telangana Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao said 10,000 cusecs of water was being released daily to Andhra Pradesh as per the allocation. “Andhra Pradesh has already utilised its quota of water and now wants to dictate terms to Telangana by demanding more,’’ he said.
However, Andhra Pradesh Irrigation Minister D Uma Maheswara Rao accused Telangana of releasing only 8,000 cusecs daily since first week of December. “Farmers in two districts are facing shortage of irrigation water. We have managed so far by using water from Pulichintala project, but our standing crop is at risk,’’ he said.
Out of the allotted 811 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of Krishna water to undivided Andhra Prdesh, the Bachawat Tribunal had allocated 299 TMC (41.61 per cent) to Telangana region and 512 TMC (58.39 per cent) to the rest of Andhra region.
The 2014-15 monsoon resulted in around 550 TMC of net flow of water in Krishna which is stored in Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar dams. As per the tribunal’s allocations, the share of the 550 TMC was divided between the two states with Telangana getting 229 TMC and the rest of Andhra Pradesh 321 TMC for the year 2014-15.
Telangana Irrigation Department officials said that while the state has so far used only 117 TMC of its share of 229 TMC, Andhra has drew additional 11 TMC water after utilising its quota of 321 TMC. “Andhra Pradesh is now advancing a strange argument that without bothering about the allocations and utilisations, the available water in both reservoirs should be allocated to them to meet their needs. This argument has not been accepted by us,’’ Telangana Irrigation Minister wrote in a letter to the Union Minister of Water Resources.
Telangana officials said that only about 100 TMC water remains in the two reservoirs which is its unutilised share and therefore rightly belongs to it. As tensions ran high and officials of both states were involved in tense negotiations, CISF personnel have been deployed at the dam as a security measure.