Centre’s report on Telangana water projects full of lies, says BRS; issues point-by-point rebuttal

Regarding the Nagarjunasagar encroachment by Andhra Pradesh, a decision was taken to maintain status quo of November 28. KRMB and the Centre failed miserably to implement that decision, the BRS said.

Centre’s report on Telangana water projects full of lies, says BRS; issues point-by-point rebuttal

HYDERABAD: The BRS has pooh-poohed the claims made by Union Jal Shakti Minister advisor Vedire Sriram over the status of water projects in Telangana. A day after Sriram made a presentation on the projects, blaming the BRS and Congress Governments for flaws in several projects, the BRS responded that the claims made by Sriram were filled with lies and half-truths. It added that the presentation was a political ploy and was timed just days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Telangana.

The BRS Government gave the following a point-by-point rebuttal to the claims made by Sriram

1. Claim: BRS Government failed to build a barrage at Tummidihatti.

Response: The K Chanrashekar Rao (KCR) Government tried hard to convince Maharashtra to build the barrage for a year. The then Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis did not agree to build the barrage at 152 metres of Full reservoir Level (FRL). On February 17, 2015, the two Chief Ministers held a discussion on the issue in the presence of the Maharashtra Governor at the Raj Bhavan in Mumbai. Fadnavis did not budge and asked KCR to reduce the barrage FRL by 148 metres. Since there was nothing fruitful emerging out of further discussions, the project had to be re-engineered.

Also Read: With Kaleshwaram down, dip in water levels in major projects hints tough summer for Telangana

2. Claim: CWC never said that 165 ft TMC of water will be available at Tummidihatti

Response: In the letter written by Central Water Commission (CWC) in 2015, the calculations made in DPR that 273 TMC feet of water would be available at Tummidihatti were wrong. The BRS advised the Centre to review the quantity of water stating that only 165 TMC water would be available of which 63 TMC would be used by the upper riparian states and might not be not be available in future in case of less inflows. It means that the water available for Telangana in the future would be just 102 TMC feet. That is why the BRS chose Medigadda where 284 TMC feet of water was available. This availability was also confirmed by the CWC.

3. Claim: Delay in issuance of new ToR as the court decided to adjourn the case

Response: Why did the Centre take three years to issue an additional Terms of Reference (ToR) even after the case was dropped in the Supreme Court? Why was the request made by the Telangana Government in 2014 not taken into consideration? There was no case then. When the Centre did not respond for a year-and-a-half, a case was filed in the Supreme Court. It was they who bowed down to the pressure of then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and NDA alliance partner Chandrababu Naidu. The blame is then being shifted on the State Government.

4. Claim: Demand for 50 : 50 water share started only from 2021

Response: That’s a lie. This demand was made from 2018. The evidence is clear from the numerous letters written by the BRS along with minutes of the meeting of the board. By 2015, investigation under APRA Section 89 had also started. If they (Centre)had been honest, they would have asked for an investigation under section 3. However, Chandrababu Naidu did not order an inquiry under Section 3 due to pressure.

5. Claim: NDSA says there are flaws in the design of Kaleswaram barrages

Response: It is true that the barrage designs were done by the CDO functioning under the State Government. While designing these, the design manuals and codes issued by CWC, CBIP and BIS were strictly followed. If there were mistakes in that design, then the manuals/codes issued by Central government agencies should also have been wrong. If the designs were flawed, then the barrage would not have survived four massive floods.

Even now there is sagging in only one out of 8 blocks. Detailed geological investigations should be conducted to identify why the sag took place. Currently, there is no concrete evidence of the sagging except for speculations. The NDSA had also sought the results of the investigation. The current NDSA report is nothing but a concocted tale to serve the political interests of the Central Government and is based on speculation.

6. Claim: Investment clearance was not approved by the Cenre

Response: True. After the TAC clearance in 2017, the BRS Government wrote to NITI Aayog for investment clearance. However, the Center did not give investment clearance for two years.

7. Claim: When the revised DPR including the cost of the third TMC works was set at Rs 1,27,000 crore

Response: The details of calculations arrived at the Benefit-Cost Ratio (BCR) of 1.87 were explained to the CWC by the State Government engineers. They even agreed to it. However, they bowed to the pressure of Central Government officials and stopped them from giving BCR clearance. Current crop prices provided by district agriculture officers were used to calculate BCR. Similarly, the unit price of electricity was taken at Rs 6.40. The price of drinking water and industrial water were taken on the basis of Government GOs. But it is not correct to say that BCR calculations were wrong. They were scientifically calculated.

8. Claim: BRS Government did not provide complete information to NDSA.

Response: That’s a lie. They gave information on all the points asked. After that, explanations were also given to the multiple set of questions asked.

9. Claim: Even the BRS Government did not correct the design flaws of the Devadula project.

Response: A blatant lie. The BRS Government rectified the mistake of the Chandrababu Naidu Government which designed the Devadula project which was not fruitful. To reduce the inundation of tribal villages at Kanthanapally, the barrage site was shifted to Tupakulagudem and a barrage named Sammakka was constructed with an FRL of 83 m. At that height, only 50 acres of land in Chhattisgarh would be submerged. The BRS Government also assured that the water storage in the barrage would be kept at 80 m until land acquisition was completed at that level. However, the Congress Government in Chhattisgarh did not cooperate no matter how hard the BRS Government tried. Even at 80 m, there was a possibility of taking water into the intake of Devadula. If there is water in Godavari at a height of 77 m, there would not be any problem for pumping of Devadula. Can the Chhattisgarh Congress government blame the Telangana Government for non-cooperation?

10. Claim: No scope given for inquiry under Section 3 to KWDT 2 in the Partition Act

Response: True. And why did the BJP government not respond to the letter written by the State Government in 2014 itself? Who delayed it until 2023? If the BJP Government is wrong, why should it blame the State?

11. Claim: The 200 TMC required for Telangana projects was not sought in the 2015 agreement

Response: How could have we asked? KWDT 2 investigation under Section 89 had already begun by then. Appropriation of water is a matter within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal. By then, none of Telangana’s projects in River Krishna had reached the water utilisation stage. That is why the contract was signed for one year. In 2016, the BRS Government extended it by another year. By 2018, the projects on Krishna River were operational. Since then we have been demanding 50 per cent share. A demand of 575 TMC was placed before the tribunal.

12. Regarding the Nagarjunasagar encroachment by the Andhra Pradesh Government, a decision was taken to maintain the status quo of November 28,2024 at the dam in a meeting held on December 1 under the auspices of the Ministry of Home Affairs. KRMB and the Central Government failed miserably to implement that decision. The failure is theirs and not the State Government's. The BRS Government wrote a letter to the KRMB chairman on the same day but there was no response. Andhra Pradesh’s occupation of Sagar is still going on.

Next Story

Similar Posts