Once again the conflict over Krishna River Water has been fomented in the narrow political interests of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments. There have been speeches, statements, arguments and counter arguments from the ruling and opposition parties of both the states, to stoke regionalism. Police forces of both the states have been deployed at Srisailam, Nagarjunasagar, Pulichintala Projects. Krishna River Water Management Board (KRWMB) is already there to resolve such conflicts amicably and above it ‘Apex Council’ also exists. But without properly taking permissions from them, both the state governments went on with their constructions to utilise Krishna River water.
Apart from the sanctioned drinking water from Pothireddypadu Head Regulator of Srisailam project to Chennai via Telugu Ganga project, and irrigation water from Nagari and Handri-Neeva, Government of Andhra Pradesh started Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (RLIS) to draw 3 TMCs more. On the other hand, Telangana Government started work on – 1. Lifting water from the barrage near Alampur and diverting to Palamur, Kalvakurthi projects, 2. Construction of Pulichinthala Left canal scheme, 3. Sunkesula lift irrigation scheme, 4. Bheema flood canal scheme , 5.Nagarjuna Sagar tail pond lift irrigation scheme.
In the aftermath of the bifurcation of united Andhra on 18-19 June 2015, a meeting of Secretary, Central Water Resources Ministry and the two chief secretaries of both the states was held in which the 811 TMCs of water allocated to the erstwhile united AP state by the Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal (KWDT) headed by Justice Brajesh Kumar in 2010 was redistributed with 512 TMCs were allocated to AP and 299 TMCs to Telangana. Both the states would have to use the amount of water available in Krishna River as per this distribution ratio. And utilisation of this water is to be made with the permission and under the supervision of KRWMB. But both the states have been utilising water and taking up new constructions without consulting KRWMB.
In the same way, all new constructions on Krishna and Godavari rivers would require permission from Apex Council. This Apex Council is constituted with Central Minister of Water Resources Ministry as the president, the Chief ministers, ministers of state water resources department, and officers of both the states as members. Yet both the states are going ahead with new projects without taking any permission from this Apex Council. Central government remained a mute spectator instead of resolving this conflict.
So, the Central as well as both the state governments are indulging in destroying the amity between the people of the two states by fomenting discord. In AP, on the one hand unemployed youth and students are raising their demand to fill all the 2.35 lakh vacancies lying in government departments while on the other hand, people are protesting against the rising prices of petrol, diesel, cooking gas, and clamping of hefty house tax, garbage tax and house site tax. In Telangana, the anti-people policies of the ruling TRS party is getting exposed day in and day out. With the resignation of Mr. Itela Rajendar, ex-minister in TRS government, the Huzarabad assembly constituency is going for by-elections. In this condition, this Krishna River water conflict has been raked up to whip sectarian passion.
It is, therefore, incumbent on all right-thinking people of both the states to pressurise their respective governments to resolve the issue amicably with the help of Apex Council working under Central Government Water Resources Ministry and also with Krishna River Water Management Board. Both the states should follow the established international and national standards in the preservation and distribution of water. Protecting the rights of people living up and down the catchment area, the water is to be utilised for producing drinking water, bettering irrigation and generation of electricity in order of priority. In the same way no new projects should be built which will imperil the already existing projects. The State Secretaries of SUCI (C) of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh have appealed to both the state governments to resolve Krishna river water dispute with the Apex Council under the leadership of Central Water Resources Ministry by following above measures. There ought not to be any precipitated discord among the common toiling masses of the two states equally pressed under the grinding wheel of ruthless capitalist exploitation.