Congress demands KRMB against AP Govt over Pothyreddypadu issue

Hyderabad: The Congress party on Thursday approached the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) opposing the plans of Andhra Pradesh Government to utilise additional 3 TMC water from Srisailam by upgrading canal systems from Pothyreddypadu Head Regulators.

“If the plan of AP Govt to draw an additional 3 TMC per day, in addition to the present drawing of Krishna water from the foreshore of Srisailam reservoir, is executed, then lakhs of farmers in Southern Telangana would be affected adversely. Besides agriculture, it may also be pertinent to mention that Krishna river water is utilized for drinking water to Hyderabad,” a delegation headed by Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee (TPCC) President & Nalgonda MP Capt. N. Uttam Kumar Reddy told KRMB Chairman Chandrashekhar Iyer at the latter’s office in Jalasoudha, Errum Manzil here on Thursday. It sought immediate intervention of KRMB to ensure that the AP Government is not allowed to draw Krishna water illegally.

TPCC Working President & Malkjagiri MP A. Revanth Reddy, MLA Jagga Reddy, AICC Serectaries A. Sampath Kumar, Vamshi Chand Reddy, and G. Chinna Reddy, former minister Nagam Janardhan Reddy, TPCC Treasurer Gudur Narayana Reddy, ex-MPs Konda Vishveshwar Reddy and Mallu Ravi, ex-MLA Rammohan Reddy and other leaders were part of the delegation.

Speaking to media persons after submitting the representation, Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the attention of KRMB was drawn towards G.O. No. 203 dated 5th May, 2020 issued by the Water Resources Department, Government of Andhra Pradesh involving sanction of Rs. 6,829 crores to upgrade Pothyreddypadu head regulator to draw 80 000 cusecs from foreshore of Srisailam reservoir.

The above G.O. also approves sanction of up-gradation of the canal system from Pothyreddypadu head regulator and BCR complex from the foreshore of the Srisailam reservoir. It envisages the utilization of an additional 3 TMC per day from Srisailam water.

As per the above G.O., the Chief Engineer, Kurnool has been asked to speed up the land acquisition process for the enhancement of drawal capacity from Pothyreddypadu project by 3 TMC per day.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that the AP’s decision was against the provisions of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 and the KRMB has the authority to direct the AP Govt to stop upgrading works at Pothyreddypadu Head Regulators. The Congress leaders said that they would submit a detailed representation explaining the overall impact at a later date.

The TPCC chief said that Pothyreddypaddu Head Regulators’ capacity has already been enhanced from 11,000 Cusecs to 44,000 Cusecs. When this was announced by AP Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, both within and outside the Assembly, Congress leader Nagam Janardhan Reddy had raised objection and also wrote a letter to Telangana Chief Minister Chandrashekhar Rao on 4th January this year asking him to protect the interest of Telangana State.

However, KCR did not pay any attention to the announcements made by his counterpart in AP. “This negligence clearly shows that KCR was having some secret understanding with Jagan Mohan Reddy to allow AP to take away water from Telangana,” he alleged while adding that immediate reaction from Telangana Govt would have prevented AP Govt from releasing GO 203 now.

Uttam Kumar Reddy said that KCR did not raise the issue although both the Chief Ministers had two meetings during this period. He said that the KRMB Chairman was briefed about the impact of additional drawal of water by Andhra Pradesh. He said agricultural activities would be badly affected in Mahabubnagar and Nalgonda districts and there would be huge shortage of drinking water in Hyderabad.

It might even lead to the drying up of Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. He said that the Board has been urged to probe into the matter and submit a report to the Central Government seeking action. He said the Board has all the powers under the AP Reorganisation Act and it must exercise them to protect the interest of Telangana.

The TPCC Chief said that the Board has been urged to keep a watch on the utlisation of water by installing tele-meters. He also demanded deployment of CISF forces to prevent theft of Krishna River water. KRMB Chairman Chandrashekhar Iyer has assured to take action after going through the details.

Uttam Kumar Reddy also informed that representation would also be submitted to Union Water Resources Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and also to Prime Minister Narender Modi.