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AP, Telangana cross swords over Krishna water, Polavaram irrigation project

Hyderabad: A fresh war of words erupted between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments on Saturday over the utilisation of Krishna river water and on multi-purpose Polavaram irrigation project.

AP's Major Irrigation Minister Devineni Umamaheswara Rao today dismissed his Telangana counterpart T Harish Rao's allegation that AP had utilised about 8 tmc ft of water from the Krishna river than it was entitled to. He (Harish) neither has an understanding of the issue, foresight nor administrative experience. Hence, he is talking all nonsense. In fact, Telangana has taken away 42 tmc ft of water from Srisailam to Nagarjuna Sagar (by generating power) leaving only two tmc ft of water for the rest of the season, Devineni alleged while addressing a press conference here. 

Earlier in the day, Harish alleged that AP had utilised 329 tmc ft of Krishna water as against its original entitlement of 321 tmc ft, thereby depriving Nalgonda district in Telangana of irrigation water to save Rabi crop. AP government is trying to draw water which it is entitled to and also not entitled to. It wants (to) leave Telangana parched, Harish alleged. Countering this, Devineni said it was ridiculous to say that AP was blocking water for the second crop in Telangana. The Krishna Delta region requires 24 tmc ft, Nagarjuna Sagar Right and Left Canals 18 tmc ft each and Srisailam Right Branch Canal 3 tmc ft. For Nalgonda and Khammam districts (in Telangana), 8.02 tmc ft of water is required while another 9.92 tmc ft is required to meet the drinking water needs of Hyderabad city. At the current levels at Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar, we will be left with only two tmc ft of water, Devineni said, adding it was not right on Harish's part to talk whatever he pleased and thereby misleading farmers and people.

 It is uncivilised, Devineni said. However, Harish alleged that AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu spoke of raising height of proposed Polavaram project by 30 ft. They have illegally taken away seven mandals (tehsils) from Telangana and merged them with AP. The Polavaram project will leave thousands of acres of land in Bhadrachalam division submerged and if the dam's height is increased, it will submerge even the Ram temple at Bhadrachalam, Harish said. Devineni dismissed the allegation terming it as mischievous. There is no plan to increase Polavaram dam's height. Our chief minister only spoke about drawing water through lift into the Polavaram right main canal and taking it to Prakasam barrage to ensure steady water flow to the Krishna Delta, he clarified.


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