‘Source of Palamuru-RR changed on technicalities, not due to non-availability of water’

Witness deposing for Telangana before the Krishna Water Disputes Tribuanl (KWDT-II) Ghansyam Jha has countered the argument put forth by counsel appearing for Andhra Pradesh R. Venkataramani that lifting water for Palamuru-Rangareddy project has been changed from Jurala to Srisailam due to lack of required water availability at Jurala.

Justifying Telangana’s decision, during his cross-examination before the tribunal chaired by Justice Brijesh Kumar in New Delhi on Wednesday as part of the case to decide the share of water among Telangana and Andhra Pradesh from out of the water allocated to combined AP, Mr. Jha said the reason for changing the lifting point was not non-availability of water but very low live storage capacity of Jurala, which he said was only 6 tmc ft.

He explained that it was purely on technical grounds that diversion of designed quantity of water, 90 tmc ft during 60 flood days, was not possible with small storage capacity of Jurala reservoir. Mr. Jha, a former chairman of the Central Water Commission (CWC), also submitted to the tribunal that Palamuru-Rangareddy was a project cleared by combined AP Government to utilise the share of water available to Telangana. However, the flood flow canal being contemplated from Jurala in future was based on the surplus flood.

Further, the Telangana’s witness brought to the notice of the tribunal that along with Palamuru-Rangareddy, Dindi lift irrigation project was also planned during the combine AP State and the matter was discussed by Telangana Chief Minister during the Apex Council meeting in September 2016. The Apex Council did not raise any objections to both projects and instead the body took the projects on record as the Chief Minister made it clear that Telangana would restrict its utilisation within the allocation made by KWDT-II.

Replying to more queries posed at him by AP’s counsel, the Telangana’s witness told the tribunal that no changes were made by Telangana in Palamuru-Rangareddy project planned during combined AP except for lifting point and the proposed ayacut. Responding to another question, Mr. Jha made it clear that Krishna was lifeline to the in-basin inhabitants of Telangana and AP.

Mr. Jha also submitted that the then Hyderabad State had envisaged utilisation of 692.79 tmc ft of Krishna water in the Telangana region during the 1951 inter-state conference. The tribunal posted the next hearing of the case for August 19.


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