In Congress rule, Telangana farmers suffer as AP draws water from Sagar

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In a huge loss to the farmers under the Nagarjuna Sagar left canal ayacut in Telangana, the Krishna River Management Board has granted permission for the release of three TMC of water to Andhra Pradesh. The water release was initiated from the Sagar right canal head regulator on Friday, in the presence of KRMB officials, to address the pressing issue of drinking water scarcity in two districts of Andhra Pradesh.

To resolve the water scarcity problem in Palnadu district, authorities have initiated the release of three TMC of water downstream from Nagarjuna Sagar right canal. The release commenced from the head regulator of the Sagar right canal in the presence of engineers from both states. A total of 3 TMC water will be released at the rate of 6 thousand cusecs per day for 9 days, specifically designated for drinking purposes in Palnadu district.

Earlier, even when the water level was at 508 feet, irrigation water was released for two weeks for Yasangi crops in Telangana. Despite the current water level in the Sagar reservoir being at 518 feet, no decision has been made yet. Concerns persist about the crops in Telangana under Sagar. Farmers are urgently requesting the release of irrigation water to save their crops, having invested about 20 thousand rupees per acre.

Telangana farmers face challenges as the summer heat intensifies, water reserves in tanks decrease, and groundwater levels deplete. Paddy crops cultivated under borewells and wells are at risk of drying up across approximately 10,000 acres, with an additional 10 thousand acres possibly suffering if the situation persists. Despite appeals from Telangana to the KRMB, water release for irrigation is not currently permitted.

On the other hand, with KRMB’s support, Andhra Pradesh has been drawing water every month in the name of drinking water needs, with 5 TMC dispensed in January alone. The Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir currently holds 518 feet of water, with a dead storage level at 510 feet, earmarked for drinking water needs in the upcoming summer. Instances exist in the past where water was released for irrigation even at the dead storage level.

The frustration among Telangana farmers is exacerbated by the continuous release of water for AP for their drinking water needs while the crops of Telangana farmers are drying up.