Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has sought assistance from the Centre for the proposed scheme to link Godavari and Krishna rivers to provide water for irrigation, drinking purpose and to cater to industry's requirements in backward and drought-prone districts.
In a letter to Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Wednesday, the Chief Minister stressed providing required funds for the scheme.
Jagan said it was proposed to supplement about 480 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of Godavari waters to Krishna river reservoirs by diverting at the rate of four TMC per day from Godavari river to Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar for 120 days.
The proposed scheme for diversion of Godavari water to Srisailam and Nagarjuna Sagar reservoirs can be taken up through suitable agreements between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for mutual benefit of both states, he wrote.
He informed the Central minister that the chief ministers and officials of both the states discussed the scheme which will benefit the Rayalaseema districts and also Prakasam and Nellore districts besides stabilizing the cut under Guntur, Krishna and West Godavari in Andhra Pradesh and Mahaboobnagar, Nalgonda, Khammam and parts of Ranga Reddy districts in Telangana.
In order to explore various alternatives feasible for diversion of water from Godavari river to Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar reservoirs, an expert committee was constituted.
Jagan pointed out that the Rayalaseema region, Nellore and Prakasam districts of Andhra Pradesh are perennially drought prone.
The cultivable area in these six districts is 98.89 lakh acre, which is nearly 50 per cent of the total cultivable area of 199.04 lakh acres in the state.
The inflows into Srisailam reservoir, which is the main source of supply for three region, are getting reduced year after year. The average inflow received into Srisailam, the starting point of Krishna waters into Andhra Pradesh during the last 52 years is 1128 TMC, whereas the same in last 10 years is reduced to 632 TMC and in the last 5 years, it was further reduced to 416 TMC.
"This shows that the inflows into Srisailam reservoir is reduced by about 63% in the last 5 years compared to the average of last 52 years. This is due to construction of new projects and more utilization in the upper states of Maharashtra and Karnataka," he said.
Jagan wrote that with the proposed raising of the crest level of Almatti dam from 519.6 meters to 524.256 meters, the storage capacity will increase by another 100 TMC and the inflows into Srisailam reservoir will further get reduced.
He said that as there is availability of surplus flows in Godavari, there is immediate need to explore ways to divert water from Godavari basin to Krishna basin.