Kadapa: The Justice Brijesh Kumar tribunal verdict over sharing of Krishna river waters by Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra is likely to affect the ongoing irrigation projects in Rayalaseema.
The tribunal delivered its verdict in New Delhi on Thursday, directing the three states to share Krishna waters equally. The verdict will have an effect on projects built using surplus waters, as it allocated minimal water share to these projects.
The major projects, including Telugu Ganga, Veligonda, Galeru-Nagari, Handri Neeva Sujala Sravanthi (HNSS), Pothireddypadu head regulator and Srisailam left bank canal, will receive paltry water allocations with the latest decision.
As a result, state government’s effort to complete irrigation projects to irrigate barren lands in Rayalaseema may come a cropper. Government has already spent Rs 35,000 crores on these projects. According to the verdict, the tribunal allocated 1,001 tmc ft water to AP, 911 tmc ft to Karnataka and 666 tmc ft to Maharashtra. Earlier, AP had the right to use surplus river water but this is confined to 190 tmc ft for AP, 177 tmc ft for Karnataka and 81 tmc ft for Maharashtra.
The verdict enables Karnataka to increase the Almatti dam height from 519 meters to 524 meters. The ongoing HNSS scheme’s works may be hit by the tribunal’s decision. The scheme envisages to provide irrigation water to 6.05 lakh acres and drinking water to Anantapur, Kur-nool, Kadapa and Chittoor districts.
About 10 lakh acres have been receiving irrigation water from the Pothireddypadu head regulator, Srisailam right branch canal and Kadapa Kurnool canal. But people apprehend that irrigation water will be drastically reduced to lands from these canals, with the tribunal’s verdict.