Krishna water dispute : AP, TS reach temporary truce

HYDERABAD: A temporary truce was agreed upon by the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Governments in their ongoing dispute over sharing Krishna waters through the Nagarjunasagar right bank canal.

Following this development, sources said that about 5,000 cusecs was released into the right canal through two gates at the rate of 500 cusecs an hour. Additionally, about 2,000 cusecs of water was released by operating the power house.

Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan brokered the truce after the dispute threatened to take an alarming turn.  He reportedly expressed to DGPs of AP and Telangana for failing prevent the clash between their respective police personnel at the Sagar project site on Friday.

The policemen swung lathis against one another when AP Government engineers and their Telangana counterparts failed to reach an agreement over control of the keys to operate the right canal gates. Telangana engineers had turned down AP’s demand to open the gates stating that they had no such instructions from above.

T-Government says AP has used excess water

Telangana Government stopped release of water ground that AP had already used 42 tmcft in excess of its allocated quota. However, it offered to conditionally release an additional five to six tmcft of water if the AP Government made a written request.

Before the issue could get out of hand, Chief Ministers N. Chandrababu Naidu and K. Chandrasekhar Rao agreed to discuss and resolve the problem in the Governor’s presence at Raj Bhavan on Saturday.  Mr. Naidu was accompanied by his Irrigation Minister D. Uma Maheswara Rao and KCR was assisted by Ministers T. Harish Rao (Irrigation) and Etela Rajender (Finance).

The Governor updated himself about the problem by meeting the two Chief Ministers separately.  Mr. Rao reportedly saidt Telangana was not in a position to release water as AP had already utilized excess water.  Mr. Naidu, on his part, appealed to the Governor to protect the reservoir by deploying central forces at the dam site.

Roadblock as Naidu leaves Raj Bhavan

After hearing both Chief Ministers, Mr. Narsimhan advised them to come up with concrete proposals about the share of each State, how much water each State actually needed and how much each had already used. Though both the CMs seemed to have agreed to these proposals, the mediation hit a roadblock as Mr. Naidu left for Srikakulam.

However, Harish Rao and Uma Maheshwara Rao continued their parleys and later emerged from the Raj Bhavan with smiling faces. They declared to the waiting media that the water row had been amicably resolved.

They said that keeping in view the overall interests of farmers, it was agreed upon by both the States to judiciously utilize the available water for the standing crop and save them from going dry. Irrigation officials of the two States would discus the modalities and take the necessary steps.

The Minister said that since water had to be released forthwith to save standing crops, the required quantity of water would be released if necessary by minimizing the drinking water requirement. They agreed that both States must prevent any untoward incidents at the dam site by observing restraint.

 In future, the Chief Ministers of both the States would resolve any issues relating water or power between the two States by discussing them across the table. Besides, Ministers and officials would meet from time to time for this purpose. (NSS)

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