Tension continues between Telangana, Andhra at Nagarjuna Sagar dam
Hyderabad, Dec 2: Tension continued between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh at the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam on Saturday following the action of Andhra Pradesh police in the early hours of November 30, while a key meeting called by Union Jal Shakti Ministry has been postponed to December 6 in view of the counting of votes in Telangana on Sunday.
Officials of Central Water Commission and members of Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) on Saturday visited the dam in Telangana's Nalgonda district.
On the orders of the Jal Shakti Ministry, KRMB members made the Andhra Pradesh authorities close gate No. 7. The release of water continued through gate No. 5, but it is also likely to be closed by Saturday night.
The KRMB members inspected the right canal through which Andhra Pradesh authorities forcibly released water to meet the requirements of Andhra Pradesh. The release of 5,450 cusecs of water continued on Saturday.
A day after Telangana police registered a case against Andhra Pradesh police for 'trespass', the latter booked counter cases against Telangana police officials on Saturday.
The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), which rushed to the dam on Friday night following intervention by the Union Home Ministry, has taken control of a part of the dam.
Andhra Pradesh, however, has made it clear that the state police will remain deployed at the dam to ensure law and order till a decision is taken on implementation of notification of the Government of India on the jurisdiction of KRMB.
Meanwhile, Telangana has demanded the KRMB to restore pre-November 28 position on Nagarjuna Sagar project.
Engineer-in-chief of irrigation department, Muralidhar, said a decision to this effect was taken during the meeting Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla held on Friday via video conference with the chief secretaries and DGPs of both the states.
In another development, the Ministry of Jal Shakti, which had called a meeting of chief secretaries of both the states on Saturday, postponed the same to December 6 on a request by Telangana Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari in view of counting of votes in Telangana on Sunday.
The meeting will address the dispute between the two states over sharing of Krishna River water and management of Nagarjuna Sagar dam and Srisailam project. Chief secretaries and irrigation officials from both the states will attend the meeting in Delhi.
Debashree Mukherji, Secretary, Jal Shakti Ministry, on Saturday held a video conference from Delhi. However, Telangana Chief Secretary could not attend the meeting. Mukherji said the meeting will be held in Delhi on December 6 and advised both the states to exercise restraint till then.
The Secretary suggested to KRMB Chairman Shiv Nandan Kumar to hold a meeting of the KRMB on December 4 and take a decision on Andhra Pradesh’s request for release of water. He said till then, the release of water from the right canal should be stopped.
During the video conference, Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary K.S. Jawahar Reddy said that the Telangana government was not following the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act. He said the Telangana government ignored the requests for release of water to meet drinking water requirements which led to the current situation.
He also demanded that the KRMB office be shifted from Hyderabad to Visakhapatnam.
Jawahar Reddy explained that continued indiscriminate use of water at the Srisailam Project for power production by Telangana and collecting the same at Nagarjuna Sagar Project (NSP) so as to maintain complete control of water releases from NSP on both sides to their advantage denying the legitimate agreed share of water to Andhra Pradesh.
The Chief Secretary explained the 'historic injustice' done to the state of Andhra Pradesh, as the control of facilities on the left bank in Srisailam Project are taken over by the state of Telangana although Srisailam Project is supposed to be under the control of the Chief Engineer, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh.
He mentioned that all the offtakes on the right bank of NSP located in the territory of Andhra Pradesh and left bank are under the control of Telangana.
He said that Andhra Pradesh is made to request Telangana for release of water through the right main canal, which caters to exclusive needs in Andhra Pradesh and is located in the territory of Andhra Pradesh, for implementing release orders of KRMB.
Telangana Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari had said during the video conference on Friday that on the night of November 29, 500 armed policemen Andhra Pradesh police reached the dam, damaged CCTV cameras and by operating head regulator, released 5,000 cusecs of water.
She also told the Union Home Secretary that this action by Andhra Pradesh police created a law and order problem on a day when Telangana was busy conducting Assembly elections. She also complained that Andhra Pradesh has resorted to such action for the second time.