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Cyclone impact on A.P. forces MoJS to postpone meet over NSP impasse to December 8

Cyclone impact on A.P. forces MoJS to postpone meet over NSP impasse to December 8
Cyclone impact on A.P. forces MoJS to postpone meet over NSP impasse to December 8

A view of Nagarjunasagar Project in surplus position (Representational Pic)
| Photo Credit: By Arrangement

The Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) has rescheduled the meeting convened to discuss the impasse over the ‘occupation’ of half of the Nagarjunasagar dam spillway area, handing over the management and security of joint projects of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to the Krishna River Management Board and CRPF to December 8.

Initially the meeting was held in virtual mode on December 2 but the Chief Secretary expressed her inability to attend the meet due to her preoccupation in the arrangements for the counting of votes of Assembly elections on December 3 and on Telangana’s request it was slated for December 6 in physical mode. In view of the intense cyclonic conditions over the Bay of Bengal and its impact on Andhra Pradesh, the meeting has been rescheduled to December 8.

Chief secretaries of A.P. and Telangana, Director General of CRPF, Chairman of the Central Water Commission and Chairman of KRMB were asked to attend the meeting physically to discuss the management of Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar dams along with structures of irrigation systems linked to to the two projects as well as their security following the ‘occupation’ of half of the Nagarjunasagar spillway area from November 29 night.

As per the provisions of the A.P. Reorganisation Act, the management of Srisailam was given to A.P., while that of Nagarjunasagar to Telangana. Later in July 2021, the Centre (MoJS) had issued a gazette notification for handing over of all projects and their irrigation systems’ structures not only of the Krishna Basin projects but those in the Godavari Basin too. However, there was consensus between the two States to handover only one medium irrigation project in the Godavari Basin.

Telangana government has been arguing that handing over of projects without any clarity on the water shares of the two States would be futile as there would be no basis for regulating water releases, particularly from Srisailam. “With A.P. diverting 69% of even the ad hoc share of waters to the non-basin areas (outside Krishna Basin) and utilising much higher quantity of water than its ad hoc share of 512 tmc ft management of projects by the river board will be much more difficult,” a senior engineer of the Irrigation department stated.

Meanwhile, the A.P. authorities are yet to withdraw its police force and barricades put up on half of the Nagarjunsagar spillway area in spite of the Ministry of Home Affairs asking the State to restore pre-November 28 situation or sending back its police force. Telangana has, however, handed over the remaining half of the dam spillway area to CRPF personnel for taking over the security from State police on December 2.

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