Power being generated without KRMB water release orders at Srisailam, NSP, CM writes to Modi
Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking a direction to Telangana to stop illegal drawal of water from the Krishna river for power generation without water release orders from the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB), and that Telangana’s unauthorised drawals be accounted for as utilisation by it against the agreed allocation of 299 tmcft.
He also sought an immediate notification of the jurisdiction of the KRMB and requested the takeover of all the offtakes of the common reservoirs with CISF protection and safeguarding of the interests of Andhra Pradesh (A.P.).
Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy said in his letter that Krishna, Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar (NSP) projects were the major common reservoirs catering to the needs of A.P. on the right side and Telangana on the left. The Jurala project located on the upstream in Telangana catered to the needs of Telangana and the Pulichintala and Prakasam barrage on the downstream catered to needs of A.P.
The water sharing agreement was concluded during a meeting held in June, 2015. A.P. and Telangana agreed to share 811 tmcft of water allocated to the erstwhile State of A.P. by the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT)-1 at 75% dependability in 512:299 ratio respectively. The States were sharing water in 66:34 on an ad hoc basis by deducting minor irrigation utilisations, evaporation losses and the Godavari diversions.
Further, the implementation mechanism was arrived at by forming a committee that comprised the Engineers-in-Chief of the two States and the Member Secretary of the KRMB, which would consider the indents raised by the respective States keeping in view the overall availability of water, and make recommendations to the KRMB.
Low level at Srisailam
The Chief Minister stated that the Srisailam reservoir was originally contemplated as a hydroelectric project but due to the changed needs of the erstwhile A.P., it was converted into a major multi-purpose project to meet the domestic, industrial and irrigation needs having a gross storage capacity of 215.80 tmcft and a Full Reservoir Level (FRL) of +885 feet and a Minimum Draw Down Level (MDDL) of +834 feet for power generation and +854 feet for irrigation needs.
The status of the reservoir as on June 1, 2021 was +808.40 feet with a storage of 33.39 tmcft which was well below the MDDL for power generation. Hence, power generation should not be done at this level but Telangana started doing it unilaterally at its power house on the left side without placing any indent before KRMB although there was no irrigation water requirement downstream.
Protocol violation at NSP
NSP already had 173.86 tmcft of water at a level of +532.90 feet which could be used for early kharif requirements. As on June 30, out of 17.36 tmcft of inflows 6.90 i.e., 40% had been used for power generation without the requisite authorisation, which prevented the building up of reservoir levels. Every day, 2 tmcft was being drawn by Telangana for power generation.
Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy stated that A.P. had brought the illegal drawal of water by Telangana twice to the notice of the KRMB in June 2021. He said Telangana started hydel power generation by utilising 30,400 cusecs of water in the NSP without placing an indent before the KRMB and in violation of the protocol for water drawals. Power generation was incidental to the downstream irrigation requirements and there was no irrigation requirement downstream as on date.