Another water battle erupts between Telangana and AP
Hyderabad: Yet another water row has erupted between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The Telangana state government took a serious view of the AP government launching works to construct a canal at Rajolibanda village in Kurnool district, in parallel to the existing Rajolibanda Diversion Scheme (RDS) to draw additional water without obtaining any approvals from various government agencies. This will deny Telangana its rightful share and adversely affect the erstwhile Mahabubnagar district.
Public representatives and farmers of Gadwal and Mahabubnagar districts complained to Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao that the AP government had started making markings to dig a canal on the right side of the RDS.
Official sources in the irrigation department said that CM Chandrashekar Rao discussed the issue with officials on Tuesday and directed them to lodge a complaint with the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB), the Central Water Commission (CWC) and the Apex Council of the Union ministry of Jal Shakti against the AP government and ensure that Andhra Pradesh suspends these works.
Though Telangana state is supposed to get 16 tmc ft of water through the RDS, it is getting less than five tmc currently due to leakages. Farmers complained that if AP builds a parallel canal, it would deprive Telangana of even the minimum five tmc of water.
Irrigation project RDS is located on Tungabhadra river and spread in Gadwal district of Telangana, Kurnool district of AP and Raichur district of Karnataka. It is an inter-state barrage on Tungabhadra river, which supplies water to the three states.
The RDS is crucial for Telangana, as it irrigates about 87,000 acres in the state and 4,000 acres in AP. Telangana has been allocated 15.9 tmc from the RDS but only gets an average of only five tmc.
The RDS has only one canal, which emanates from the left side of RDS anicut on Tungabhadra river. The anicut is located at the border of Andhra Pradesh (Kurnool) and Karnataka (Raichur). The canal passes through Karnataka for 43 kms and flows into Telangana for the remaining 100 km. It is intended to serve an ayacut of 5,900 acres, utilising 1.2 tmc in Karnataka and 87,500 acres with 15.9 tmc in Telangana. The tailend reaches in Telangana have not been getting water for decades due to leakages.
RDS was one of the main issues during the Telangana statehood agitation. However, it was not addressed in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. Due to this, farmers under the RDS canal in Gadwal district are still awaiting their rightful share of water to reach their fields even more than six years after Telangana state was formed....