River has a major catchment, and also flows through a larger part of the State, says Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao
Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has asked Central government to allocate to Telangana at least 1,000 tmcft out of 2,000 tmcft water of Godavari water which will go into the sea untapped by Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
Telangana was entitled to 1,000 tmc ft surplus water of Godavari because the river had a major catchment and also flowed through a larger part in the State, Mr. Rao said in discussions with Irrigation officials to draw up a strategy for the Apex Council meeting soon on river water disputes between the two States.
Mr. Rao came down heavily on both Andhra Pradesh and Central governments for pointing an accusing finger at Telangana in the matter of river water utilisation. It’s time both governments are given a fitting reply, he said.
Expressing his ire at Andhra Pradesh for lodging a complaint with Centre on projects taken up by Telangana, he said the allegations of the neighbouring State are “meaningless and baseless.” Telangana will silence Andhra Pradesh with its arguments once and for all at the Apex Council meeting, he said.
The stand of Centre in respect of projects in Telangana is also not right. It raised objections to projects which had water allocation even before the State was formed, clearances received and funds spent.
The Centre needlessly set up obstacles even to water release from Srisailam to Nagarjunasagar. In fact, any other reservoir should be filled with water in river Krishna only after Nagarjunasagar is filled up. This is because Srisailam is not an irrigation project but a hydel generation project. The Centre overrode rights of Telangana in the matter. The stand of Centre will be exposed to the whole nation, Mr. Rao remarked.
Insisting that Telangana went ahead with projects in Krishna and Godavari river basins in tune with its rights, the Chief Minister said all projects were sanctioned before formation of the State. They had water allocation and clearances from the Central Water Commission and other agencies.
As much as ₹23,000 crore was spent and 31,500 acres of land acquired for them. After so much was done, it is meaningless to stall them in the name of new projects.
The projects were deliberately not completed in combined State and it was seen to it that they had higher ayacut with less water allocation. This will not help in meeting the irrigation requirements completely. Therefore, the Telagana government took up redesign of projects in the context of its requirements and requirements for water. It is meaningless to find fault with the efforts, he said.
The Pranahita – Chevella project was redesigned as Kaleslwaram, Kantanapalli as Samakka Sagar, Rajiv Sagar – Indira Sagar as Sitarama and Dummugudem as Seetamma Sagar projects.
On the other hand, the inter-State agreement with Maharashtra on Penganga project was concluded in 1975 and the award of Godavari river water tribunal given subsequently. The Apex Council meeting will be informed when the project is sanctioned, clearances that it got, money spent till formation of Telangana, land acquired and government orders issued in the process. “People who lodged the complaints and those who raised doubts should get a final explanation,” he instructed officials.
Mr. Rao recalled that the Andhra Pradesh government had raised an objection on Palamuru – Ranga Reddy project at the earlier Apex Council meeting. Then, Telangana countered with queries about Muchumarri project in Andhra Pradesh. Therefore, it was decided to let both projects take off. But, Palamuru – Ranga Reddy was again raised by Andhra Pradesh, which is not right, he said.
The river water tribunal had suggested that only 20% of water released from drinking purposes should be accounted. Hence, Telangana should book only 22 tmcft out of 110 tmcft water released for drinking.
He also said injustice was done to Telangana in irrigation from the beginning. Even the Bachawat tribunal held that injustice was done to the State in the matter of water allocation. The tribunal made a special allocation of water to Telangana after establishing that the region was not factored in the requirements of the combined State.
The projects in Telangana which were taken up in combined Andhra Pradesh like Jurala, Nettempad, Kalwakurthy, Bheema and Koilsagar were completed after bifurcation of the State. The Tummilla lift-irrigation scheme had to be taken up to stabilise the ayacut of Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme. Therefore, Telangana was in dire need of more water allocation which can be met by surplussing of Godavari.