AP opposition flays Tribunal ruling on Krishna river water

The opposition parties in AP flayed the Krishna River Waters Dispute Tribunal’s verdict on sharing of Krishna water alleging it has come as a "big blow" to state which "lost total right over utilization" of surplus water.

Last Updated: Dec 30, 2010, 20:50 PM IST

Hyderabad: The opposition parties in Andhra
Pradesh on Thursday flayed the Krishna River Waters Dispute
Tribunal’s verdict on sharing of Krishna water alleging it has
come as a "big blow" to the state which "lost total right over
utilization" of surplus water.

Telugu Desam Party politburo member K Yerran Naidu said
in Vijayawada that the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal’s verdict on
Krishna River water sharing was a death blow to the state.

"This will turn AP, known as the rice bowl, into a
desert," Yerran Naidu charged and added ruling Congress owed
an explanation to the people on its "failure" to protect the
state’s rights.

CPI State Secretary K Narayana said Karnataka benefited
immensely from the Tribunal’s award. "This will have a telling
impact on agriculture in AP".

The state government has not yet reacted to the
Tribunals` verdict.

With the Tribunal permitting Karnataka to raise the level
of Almatti dam to 524.5 meters from 519 m, irrigation during
Kharif in Andhra Pradesh under Nagarjuna Sagar will be largely
affected, an irrigation expert said.

It will also leave an adverse impact on Srisailam Left
Branch Canal and other projects like Veligonda taken up under
the ambitious Jalayagnam programme, according to the expert.

"We (AP) have apparently failed to present our case
effectively before the Tribunal while Karnataka’s arguments
looked firm," a retired irrigation official and expert on the
subject G Prabhakar felt.

Talking to PTI this afternoon, Prabhakar said AP would be
losing right over more than 130 tmc ft of surplus water
because of the Tribunal’s award though it got an additional
190 tmc ft of water as firm allocation as compared to the
past.

Being a lower riparian state, AP was hitherto had the
right over 320 tmc ft of surplus water but now the Tribunal
allocated only 190 tmc ft as the state`s share in surplus
water while Karnataka and Maharashtra were given 177 tmc ft
and 81 tmc ft respectively.

"The biggest factor detrimental to AP’s interest is the
permission given to Karnataka for raising the height of
Almatti dam to 524.5 m. This will have a serious adverse
impact on our Kharif cropping under the Nagarjuna Sagar
project," Prabhakar said. More than 13.5 lakh acres in six districts are
irrigated under the Nagarjuna Sagar project in the state.

Also, the reduction in availability of surplus water
to the state would affect irrigation projects like SLBC,
Galeru-Nagari, Handri-Neeva, Kalwakurthy (lift), Nettempadu
and Veligonda in Telangana, Rayalaseema and Andhra regions,
Prabhakar said.

All these projects that require at least 300 tmc ft of
water were designed keep the availability of surplus water in
view. Now that the state’s share in surplus water has been
drastically cut, these projects will be in a limbo, he said.

"Overall, the Tribunal’s award is a major loss to AP,"
Prabhakar summed up.

PTI