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TS raises concern over A.P.’s plan to expand Handri-Neeva scope

It urges KRMB to stop work of new reservoir as part of HNSS-II

Telangana government has raised its concern over the plan of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh to enhance the scope of Handri-Neeva Sujala Sravanthi (HNSS-lift irrigation project), a surplus water based project taken up outside the Krishna Basin, by taking up a new reservoir with irrigation potential of 23,000 acres as part of the HNSS phase-two.

It has addressed a letter to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) on Monday requesting the latter to restrain A.P. from constructing the new reservoir at Jilledubanda near Dharmavaram in Anantapur district with a storage capacity of 2.41 tmc ft water drawn from Srisailam, in violation of the A.P. Reorganisation Act.

Engineer-in-Chief (General-Irrigation) of Telangana C. Muralidhar wrote to KRMB Chairman M.P. Singh that Jilledubanda reservoir is one of the new schemes/projects taken up after bifurcation of combined A.P. with a cost of ₹47,776 crore in violation of the APRA, without appraisal of the river board and without approval of the Apex Council.

The Jilledubanda scheme was given administrative approval with ₹680 crore in September last year and tenders were invited recently with an estimated cost of ₹609.14 crore. Water would be diverted to the new reservoir by constructing a cross regulataor on the HNSS main canal at 377.1 km and water diverted from there would be given to the 23,000 proposed ayacut in Bathalapalli, Mudigubba, Dharmavaram and Tadimarri mandals.

The ENC has brought to the notice of KRMB Chairman that Telangana has already written several letters to the river board in the matter highlighting A.P.’s plans to enhance scope of several surplus water based projects outside the basin, including expansion of HNSS, with a plea to stop that State for carrying the works being taken up in violation of the APRA and without appraisal and approval of the river board and Apex Council.

As such, A.P. has approvals from the Central Water Commission and Ministry of Water Resources (Jal Shakti) to draw only 34 tmc ft of flood flows from Srisailam reservoir to the outside basin areas but it has been diverting huge quantities of water every year by taking new projects/schemes on regular basis, when several projects within the basin were starving for water.

The Telangana ENC brought to the KRMB Chairman’s notice that AP has already diverted 93.29 tmc ft water till September-end, including 82.09 tmc ft from Pothireddypadu head regulator and 11.2 tmc ft from Malyala, the take-off pump house of HNSS in Kurnool district. Further, he pointed out that A.P. did not file a plea for allocation of water out of dependable flows to HNSS before KWDT-II.

Stating that such diversions to the outside basin areas would certainly affect the needs of Krishna Basin areas of Telangana based on Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar reservoirs and worsen the situation, the ENC urged the river board to stop A.P. from going ahead with its HNSS expansion plans.

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