The Telangana State Legislative Assembly on Monday passed a unanimous resolution affirming the Congress government's commitment not to hand over control of common projects of Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB), until conditions put forth by the state are adhered to. The resolution was passed after a five-hour debate in the House, of accusations and counters between the Congress and BRS on the issue of who agreed to hand over projects to the KRMB. 

The Congress and BRS held each other responsible for facilitating the KRMB to take over the projects.

The resolution passed by the House read, “In view of the historical injustice and the current situation, the House hereby resolves that the government of Telangana shall not hand over control of common projects to KRMB unless the conditions put forth by the state have been fulfilled, which are as follows. Water sharing between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana shall be on the basis of catchment area, drought-prone area, basin population and cultivable area.”

The other conditions put forth by the state government included: “In-basin needs shall be met first on priority as per Krishna Waters Dispute Tribunal-I (KWDT-). Srisailam project was sanctioned as a hydroelectric project by the Planning Commission in 1962 for supplying 264 tmc ft to Nagarjunasagar project. Accordingly, MDDL (minimum draw down level) of Srisailam shall be +830 ft as per KWDT-I award.”

As per KRMB operation protocols, the MDDL of Srisailam is 854 ft for irrigation and 834 ft for power generation. A tmc ft of water refers to thousand million cubic feet, as much water the Hussainsagar holds when it is full. “Outside basin diversions from Srisailam reservoir shall be limited to 34 tmc ft (15 tmc ft for Chennai water supply and 19 tmc ft for Srisailam Right Bank Canal) which were approved by the Central Water Commission. 

The use towards drinking water shall be reckoned as 20 per cent of withdrawal towards consumptive use as stipulated by KWDT-I.” “States shall be permitted to carryover water to the next year as per KWDT-I and shall not be accounted as use in the next year account. Unauthorised construction of projects/expansions/new components diverting Krishna water to outside basin shall not be permitted strictly, unless

approved by CWC/Union ministry of water resources,” it read. The resolution, moved by irrigation minister N. Uttam Kumar Reddy, read: “River Krishna is the life line of the regions of southern Telangana state both for irrigation and drinking water purposes. 

After the formation of the state of Andhra Pradesh through the Bachawath Tribunal Award, 811 tmc ft ft of water was allocated to the state of Andhra Pradesh. Successive governments have created substantial irrigation potential through construction of major projects.” “After the formation of new state of Telangana in 2014, sufficient attention was not given to the requirements of the Krishna basin and the previous BRS government agreed to the grossly unfair ratio of water sharing between the two states, which is 299 ft tmc ft to Telangana state and 512 tmc ft to Andhra Pradesh,” it read. 

“Through the AP Reorganisation Act 2014, a Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) was created for regulating the water sharing between the two states. The previous BRS government also proposed to hand over the common projects of the Srisailam dam and Nagarjunasagar dam to the KRMB, which is detrimental to the interests of Telangana state,” the resolution said. The KRMB jurisdiction to that effect has also been notified by the Government of India, which was not objected to by the previous BRS government, Uttam Kumar Reddy said. 

“On the night of November 29, 2023, the government of AP, by sending armed police, forcibly took over the control of the right side of Nagarjunasagar dam, which was till then under the control of Telangana state. The Central government stepped in and sent the CRPF to remove the AP police,” it read. Interjecting in the discussion, Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy said, “Water is central to the agitation of Telangana. Mahbubnagar and Nalgonda districts are the worst hit by lack of water. Around 10 lakh people had emigrated from Mahbubnagar.” “KCR, whose political career received a new lease of life with his election as an MP from the district in 2009, instead of coming to the Assembly and backing the demand for 68 per cent share of Krishna water, chose to skip the debate in the House. This shows his callous attitude towards the burning issue concerning Telangana and its people,” Revanth Reddy said.

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