After water, Jagan-KCR in ‘power’ tussle

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After entering into a legal battle over water sharing, the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments are now flexing muscle over electricity sharing. In a fresh row, the Andhra Pradesh government has entered into a tussle over ‘power’.

The Jagan government is putting up a fierce opposition to Telangana Genco’s attempts to generate extra power from major hydel reservoirs of Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar on the Krishna river.

The AP government complained to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) that TSGenco was generating power against the agreed ratio of 50:50 for the year 2020-21.

Following this, KRMB wrote a letter to the ministry of Jal Shakti with an appeal to direct the TSGenco to stop further drawls of water from Srisailam project for power generation and following the agreed protocol ratio of 50:50 for the year 2020-21.

With Telengana government firm on generating power in spite of objections by AP, the latter has knocked at ministry of Jal Shakti and the Krishna River Water Management Board to resolve the issue.

The AP government’s bone of contention is that the generation of power at the Srisailam would drain out water from the reservoir as it is necessary to maintain water level at a minimum draw down level to supply drinking water to the Rayalaseema region.

Already, both the states have locked their horns over water sharing from Srisailam reservoir. The Telangana Irrigation Department had urged the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) to prevent the Andhra Pradesh government from taking up any further action with regard to GO 203, issued on May 5 to divert 8 tmcft water from Srisailam to Rayalaseema.

Further, the Telangana government had moved the Supreme Court with an appeal to direct AP to halt the tender process for the irrigation project in violation APRA and the instructions of the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB).

The Andhra Pradesh government had proposed for construction of Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme, expansion of Pothireddypadu project and also increasing the capacity of the Srisailam Right Bank Canal under GO 203 issued in May this year.

Tenders for the works had already been called for. On its part, the Telangana government objected to the GO 203 stating that it is violative of the AP Reorganisation Act and sought stay orders against the GO. KRMB had also sent a letter to Andhra Pradesh special chief secretary for water resources development stating that even calling for tenders for work on the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme would violate the APRA.

The water and power sharing between the two states has caused a strain on the bonhomie that chief minsiters K Chandrasekhar Rao and Jaganmohan Reddy. It remains to be seen how the two CMs will resolve the water and power issues between the two states in the days to come.

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