Row over Krishna water: T'gana for meeting of entire board

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Hyderabad, July 5 (PTI): Amid its ongoing row with Andhra Pradesh over sharing of Krishna river water, the Telangana government on Monday urged the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) to convene a meeting of the full Board after July 20 instead of a three-member committee meeting on July 9.

In a letter to the KRMB Chairman, Telangana Special Chief Secretary (irrigation) Rajat Kumar too sought a discussion on what he called several critical issues of the State.

It is surprising that the Board's member-secretary who proposed the July 9 meeting only mentioned the issues raised by Andhra for discussion, the letter by the Telangana official said.

Several critical issues raised by Telangana were not mentioned (for discussion), the letter said.

The Telangana government would like to discuss various issues, including revision of the ratio of Krishna river water-sharing for this year, steps to stop the construction of the alleged illegal Rayalaseema lift irrigation scheme by Andhra and measures to stop excess diversion by that State from Pothireddypadu head regulator and other projects to outside the basin, it said.

Observing that the Srisailam project was sanctioned in 1963 as a hydro-electric project, he said the Telangana government is constrained to reject the request of Andhra Pradesh to stop power generation from the Srisailam hydro- electric project.

Pointing out that the water systems in Telangana are predominantly dependent on lift irrigation schemes requiring huge energy inputs during the kharif season, he said there is, as such, a severe power exigency in the State at present.

In view of the gravity of these issues, the Board is requested to convene a meeting of the full Board on a mutually convenient date after July 20 instead of a meeting by the three-member committee, he said.

The KRMB was constituted by the Centre as per the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, for the administration, regulation, maintenance and operation of such projects, as may be notified by the Central government from time to time.

After a thaw in relations during the last couple of years, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were engaged in a fresh row over sharing of Krishna water and power generation.

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