By Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Considering the AP Water Resources Department’s request, the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) has ordered release of additional 2 tmc of water to Nagarjuna Sagar Right Canal to meet the drinking water needs of Guntur and Prakasam districts till the end of May. C Narayana Reddy, engineer-in-chief of the State department, said the indent request was made as the domestic consumption increased due to Covid-19 and lockdown.

The order, issued after a meeting of the three-member committee in Hyderabad on Friday, read: “After a detailed discussion  and as mutually agreed by both the states, it is decided to release 2 tmc of water to NRSC for utilisation up to May 31.” The ENCs (irrigation) of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and a member secretary of KRMB are the members of the committee.

The meeting was convened following a letter by ENC Narayana Reddy to the KRMB requesting additional water release. “As per the committee’s earlier meeting, it was decided to use 10 tmc from NSRC and 3.9 tmc via left canal as per assessment made then. But, due to Covid-19, domestic usage has gone up. So, we requested for more water,” he explained.

He further noted that the committee also met to discuss the water utilisation done by both the states. It may be recalled that the board had written to the AP’s ENC on May 19 requesting to stop drawing water from three schemes on Krishna basin as it has exceeded its share of 647.559 tmc allocated till May-end. “The calculations made by the three members did not match. So we discussed the same,” the ENC noted.

Meanwhile, no elaborate discussion took place on issues like usage of surplus water, it was learnt. “The issue of sharing of water drawn during surplus period is to be addressed by a technical committee formulated by the Union Jal Shakti Ministry. Depending on the final decision on the issue, eligible shares of water between the states may vary,” KRMB member secretary A Paramesham observed.

Water war
The KRMB, in a letter dated May 20, informed the Andhra Pradesh government not to go ahead with the proposed Rayalaseema pumping scheme and upgradation of Pothireddypadu head regulator canal system. The letter was sent after the KRMB convened an urgent meeting with both the States after Telangana complained against the proposed project alleging violations. In the missive addressed to Special Chief Secretary (water resources) Harikesh Meena, members of the board observed that the Union Jal Shakti ministry directed KRMB to convey that the project was in violation of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, as the detailed project report was not submitted for approval to either Central Water Commission or KRMB for appraisal.

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