T’gana CM Revanth Reddy slams BRS over utilisation of Krishna river water

Hyderabad: Telangana suffered more damage in the utilisation of Krishna river water during the BRS regime than it did during undivided Andhra Pradesh as the previous government failed to safeguard the state’s interests, Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy alleged on Sunday.

Addressing a press conference here, he said the BRS is trying to attack the Congress government by “covering up its own sins” on the issue of handing over projects on Krishna and Godavari rivers to Centre (river management boards).

He countered the criticism of BRS leaders that handing over the projects to KRMB would hurt the state’s interests.

This comes against the backdrop of Telangana and neighbouring Andhra Pradesh recently agreeing to hand over the management (regulation) of water release from the Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar projects, from 15 outlets based on them and spillways of the two joint storage facilities for the two states, to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB).

The KRMB was constituted by the Centre as per the Andhra Pradesh Re-Organisation Act, 2014 for the administration, regulation, maintenance and operation of such projects, as may be notified by the Central Government from time to time.

The Act talks about handing over the projects to the river management boards and BRS president and former Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao was MP when the Act was passed, the Chief Minister said.

Rao, also known as KCR, had earlier stated that he was consulted when the Act was drafted, he said.

It was the BRS government which agreed in 2015 for Telangana’s share to be 299 TMC out of the undivided Andhra Pradesh share of 811 TMC in Krishna river though 68 per cent of catchment area of Krishna river is in Telangana, he said.

It was Rao who was responsible for Telangana losing its water rights, he alleged.

The BRS government had also agreed in 2019 to renew the same share every year, he said.

In 2022, the BRS government, in a meeting of KRMB, agreed to hand over the Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar projects, Revanth Reddy said.

The BRS government had allocated funds in the 2023-24 state budget for maintenance of the projects after handing them over to KRMB and Godavari River Management Board (GRMB), he said.

Rao held the posts of Union Minister or Chief Minister during 2004-23 when AP initiated various projects, including Pothyreddypadu, Rayalaseema lift and Muchumarri projects, to transfer river water to AP causing injustice to Telangana, he said.

”Telangana suffered more damage during Chandrasekhar Rao’s tenure as Chief Minister for 10 years in Krishna river water more than the damage it suffered during the 60 years of undivided Andhra Pradesh,” he said.

Reddy asked the former CM KCR to debate, especially on issues of irrigation, during the coming Assembly session to let people decide who caused injustice to the state.

Meanwhile, state Irrigation Minister N Uttam Kumar Reddy said the government would not hand over the projects to KRMB.