Harish Rao slams Telangana govt on handing over projects to KRMB

Hyderabad: Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) senior leader and former Irrigation minister T Harish Rao slammed the Telangana government for the decision to hand over projects to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB).

“The Congress government is in complete disarray. On January 27, the state government sent a letter to the centre stating the same points that the BRS government had mentioned many times in the past regarding the issue of taking over the projects. Today, the Engineers in Chief (ENC) of both states announced before the media that the management of the projects is being handed over to the Krishna Board. Is the letter dated 27th authentic?… Is the acceptance in today’s meeting authentic?” he asked.

Harish alleged that the state government is completely “misleading” the people of the state in the matter of these projects.

“When I said that the state government has agreed to hand over the projects to the board, chief minister Revanth Reddy replied saying that he need not learn lessons from Harish Rao. He promised to protect the interests of Telangana. What happened today? A decision was taken to hand over the operation of the Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar projects to the Krishna Board. Henceforth permission of the KRMB is mandatory to take even a drop of water. Will the state have the power to draw water for drinking in summer, tomorrow when it is needed?” he asked.

On ‘no discussion’ in the meeting regarding Hydroelectric projects, Harish questioned how electricity would be produced without water.

“Is it possible to generate electricity without board permission? Without the permission of the KRMB, there is no situation where the state engineers and officials can at the least visit the projects. Are Telangana’s interests and rights to be put in the hands of the Center and AP?” he asked.

The former minister asked whether the decision was the Congress party’s ‘gift’ to the people of Palamuru, Rangareddy, Nalgonda and Khammam where the party won most of the seats in the recent Assembly elections.

“In 2021, the Centre gave a gazette and mounted pressure on the BRS government, but we did not agree to give the projects. The Congress agreed to give the projects just two months into coming to power. It is clear who is protecting the interests of Telangana,” he remarked.

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Telangana, AP to handover Srisailam, Nagarjunasagar projects to KRMB

What Telangana, AP said

The governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh agreed to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) handling the operations of the Srisailam and the Nagarjunasagar projects’ water management outlets, which provide water for irrigation to both states.

The decision came after a meeting of the KRMB chairman and Union water resources Secretary with the Engineer in Chiefs’ (ENC) of Telangana, AP at Jalasoudha in the city on Thursday, February 1.

Also, both AP and Telangana agreed to the formation of a three-member committee which will take the final call on water sharing between the states and that the KRMB will implement the decision at the field level.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Telangana ENC Muralidhar Rao said that the state has voiced its demand for a share of 50 per cent in the Krishna waters.

He also said that the discussion didn’t include the decision over the management of hydroelectric centres.

He hoped that the new arrangements would avoid controversies between the two states.

This year Telangana plans to draw 20 TMC but the quantum will now be decided by a three-member committee.

“If the committee decides the quantum at 15 TMC or 22 TMC, the same will be implemented by the Board through us,” he said.

He said the state has conveyed its demands in writing to the Centre and it was waiting for a response.

AP ENC Narayana Reddy informed that it was agreed in the meeting that 6 components of Telangana and 9 components of Andhra Pradesh will be handed over to the KRMB.

“Both states also agreed on allocating personnel for the operations,” he said.

It may be recalled that there was tension between both states at Nagarjuna Sagar Dam on November 30 when Andhra Pradesh officials forcibly released water to Andhra Pradesh by opening gates.

The Union Home Ministry had intervened to deploy the CRPF. Later, the Union Water Resources Ministry called a meeting of both states to defuse the tension.