Telangana has made it clear to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) that Chennamukkapalle, located 175 km away from Srisailam reservoir in the Penna Basin, can not be treated as the off-take point of the drinking water supply scheme to Chennai since the actual take-off point is Pothireddypadu (PRP) Head Regulator.
Giving the views of Telangana on Thursday on the installation of sensor-based real-time date acquisition system at the off-take point suggested by Andhra Pradesh at a virtual meeting held on December 23 last with Krishna Basin States and Tamil Nadu for measuring water release to Chennai, Engineer-in-Chief (General-Irrigation) of Telangana C. Muralidhar said AP had located the off-take point in violation of letter and spirit of the agreements in the matter.
Sending Telangana’s views through a letter to KRMB Chairman M.P. Singh, the ENC pointed out that the inter-State agreements of 1976 and 1977 the Krishna riparian States had agreed to divert 15 tmc ft water from Srisailam reservoir to Chennai for drinking needs during July-October flood period through an open-lined channel from Srisailam to Penna with designed discharge not exceeding 1,500 cusecs with the stipulation that the system shall be utilised only for water supply to Chennai and for no other purpose.
However, in total violation of the agreements the then AP government had located the off-take point at Chennamukkapalle near Penna river, about 175 km away from Srisailam reservoir. In the process, the channel for 175 km was constructed with discharge capacity of 11,150 cusecs and for the remaining 3 km from Chennamukkapalle to Penna river with 1,500 cusecs, Mr. Muralidhar explained.
Later in 1981, 19 tmc ft water was re-allocated from AP’s total share for Srisailam Right Bank Canal (SRBC) project to be drawn during the flood period and in the Planning Commission approval for it, it was also made it clear that the approach channel, head regulator, 16.34 km main canal and cross regulator would serve water supply to Chennai too. Together, for Chennai and SRBC needs the stipulated drawl during the flood period was stipulated at 34 tmc ft.
In violation of such approval, AP had enhanced the capacity of the regulator (Pothireddypadu) and channels and huge quantity of water is being diverted every year. This water year (2021-22) it has already drawn 112 tmc ft water but there is no account of water reaching Penna river from Chennamukkapalle.
It is essential for Telangana to know discharge of water at various points starting from Pothireddypadu by placing sensors all along till Chennamukkapalle and Kandaleru till Poondi reservoir to place the details before KWDT-II and the Supreme Court.