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Telangana activists protest release of dam water to coastal belt
Suresh Dharur/TNS

Hyderabad, July 2
A bitter water war has broken out in Andhra Pradesh with the Telangana activists raising serious objections over the state government’s decision to release water from two reservoirs on the Krishna river for paddy cultivation in the coastal Andhra region.

The two reservoirs at Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar are located in the Rayalaseema and Telangana regions respectively, constituting the upper reaches of Krishna river. “When there is no drinking water in our parched region, the government is pampering the rich coastal belt by releasing water for irrigating their crops,” claimed Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MLA T Harish Rao.

Pro-Telangana activists, including TRS workers, tried to stall the release of water from Nagarjunasagar reservoir to the downstream coastal districts, forcing the irrigation department officials to take the help of the police to ensure the smooth release of water.

The release of water to the delta region, considered the rice bowl of the state, is essential in June and July to raise the paddy crop over 13 lakh acres. But there is also a simultaneous demand for release of water to Nalgonda district in Telangana region for irrigation and drinking water supply to Hyderabad.

Though the release of water to the Krishna delta has been smooth over the years, the alarming water level in the Nagarjunasagar reservoir has triggered the current crisis.

The water level in this reservoir was 511.12 ft as against the full reservoir level (FRL) of 590 ft when Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy directed the irrigation department to release 15 TMC ft (thousand million cubic feet) of water to the Krishna delta.

According to irrigation officials, the dead storage level of Nagarjunasagar is 511 ft and if the water goes below this level, the reservoir would be left with slush. Further drawing of water from Nagarjunasagar would result in a serious drinking water crisis in Hyderabad, which draws nearly three tmc ft of water from this reservoir for drinking water purposes, argue Telangana leaders.





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