Ahead of projects in the Krishna and Godavari Basins getting fresh water (flood), Telangana has requested the Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) to convene a meeting of the stakeholders to take a considered decision on the legitimate requirements of Telangana, pending settlement of the issue of fair and equitable sharing of Krishna waters by the Tribunal.
“KRMB has issued ex-party notice to continue water sharing arrangements in the ratio of 34:66 for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for the 2022-23 water year too after the board meeting held on May 6 ended without Telangana giving its consent for it. The board’s action on part of KRMB is not legally valid as it’s empowered to take decisions only through negotiations and mutual agreement as per the AP Reorganisation Act provisions”, Special Chief Secretary (Irrigation) of Telangana Rajat Kumar said in a letter addressed to Secretary MoJS Pankaj Kumar.
Stating that the matter of fair allocation is pending since 2014, KRMB has been making ad hoc water sharing arrangement on year to year basis in 34:66 ratio from 2015 out of 811 tmc ft allocated to combined AP by KWDT-I, Mr. Rajat Kumar said the arrangement was not based on any formula or principles of equitable distribution, but merely on the water utilisation pattern of the two States in 2013-14 water year.
“The decision was made only for one year and Telangana had agreed for it with clear understanding that the Centre will expedite the matter for making fair allocations by referring the matter under Section-3 to the Tribunal. However, at the beginning of every water year, the river board has been repeating the ratio citing the decision taken in 2015, perpetuating the very injustice against which Telangana movement had taken roots”, the TS official explained to the MoJS Secretary.
For 2021-22 water year, Telangana has agreed to the ratio, subject to condition that AP shall not divert more than 34 tmc ft water from Srisailam reservoir outside the basin. However, KRMB had allowed AP to draw largely excess water than their legitimate claim. “At the May 6 meeting this year, Telangana has demanded 50:50 share for 2022-23 keeping in view the requirement of 105 tmc ft for three operational projects – SLBC, Kalwakurthy and Nettempadu serving an ayacut of about 12 lakh acres with total needs being around 575 tmc ft for ongoing projects, industrial and drinking needs.
In another letter to the MoJS Secretary, Mr. Rajat Kumar demanded restriction of AP’s utilisation in the Godavari Basin to 493.5 tmc ft of assured water and stop schemes having potential to utilise more than such a quantity by treating them as unauthorised schemes/projects.