The regional media describes the on-going fight over water resources as ‘jala jagadam’ which once again drew the police forces of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana into a tense standoff last week at the common reservoirs of the two states. Even though relations between the two state administrations improved after Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy became Chief Minister in 2019, disagreements over the sharing of the Krishna river water continue to shape politics in the region.
Andhra Pradesh government alleges and has been struggling to contain Telangana since the latter ‘unilaterally’ started drawing Krishna water for power generation at Srisailam, Nagarjuna Sagar and Pulichintala projects two weeks ago —without approvals from the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB), an autonomous body that was set up after the bifurcation of the state in 2014, to manage and regulate the waters in the Krishna basin.
Hence, the ongoing dispute with Telangana over river Krishna waters and implementation of promises made to the state under the AP Reorganisation Act are some of the main issues that the YSR Congress will raise in the ensuing monsoon session of Parliament. Ahead of the Parliament session beginning on July 19, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy held a meeting with his party MPs to discuss the strategy to be adopted and the issues to be raised.
Talking to reporters at the end of the meeting, YSRC Parliamentary Party leader V Vijayasai Reddy said they would raise the issue of illicit utilization of Krishna water by the neighbouring Telangana government for power generation, depriving AP of water for irrigation and drinking needs. The state had already filed a petition in the Supreme Court on the issue and has scored a big victory without making much noise as the Centre issued a notification fixing the jurisdiction of river management boards without taking Telangana’s objections into consideration.
YSRC legislator Malladi Vishnu said that the Centre’s notification on river boards’ jurisdiction was big relief for AP. BJP MP GVL Narasimha Rao welcomed the Centre’s decision. He said that the notification would put an end to water wars between the two states.
Likewise yet another water war between Delhi and Haryana has come to an end. Delhi Jal Board vice-chairman Raghav Chadha on Tuesday announced that Haryana had released 16,000 cusecs of water into Yamuna River, bringing an end to the inter-state water dispute. He said that the Supreme Court was approached by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and, after several discussions between officials of the two states, Haryana finally released Delhi’s “legitimate share” of water.
The current dispute between the Delhi Jal Board and the Haryana government began last week, with the DJB claiming that Haryana was withholding 120 MGD (million gallons a Day) of water which was Delhi’s “legitimate share” as per the 1996 Supreme Court Ruling. The Haryana Government responded to the allegations on Tuesday, with CM Manohar Lal Khattar stating that Haryana Govt. did not withhold even “one drop” of water from Delhi despite having higher demand than Delhi.