Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Thursday met his Andhra Pradesh counterpart N Chandrababu Naidu in Vijayawada to seek release of drinking water to Chennai from the Telugu Ganga Project.
Tamil Naduâ€™s share of the 5 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) of water will come from Andhra which will release one half, while the other half will be released by Telangana, reported The New Indian Express.
However, Andhra clarified that of the 5 tmcft to be released, only 2.5 tmcft will be released through Telugu Ganga canal while the rest of it has to come from Telangana. Tamil Nadu was advised to approach Telangana government and Krishna River Water Management Board for the same.
N Chandrababu Naidu has agreed to release 1.5 tmcft at the earliest but after considering the needs of the state. Naidu has said that they will be releasing 1.5 tmcft after considering the availability of water in Kandaleru reservoir and also the local water demand.
During a meeting between irrigation secretaries, the Andhra officials asked for Rs 443 crore as the maintenance cost for the Telugu Ganga Canal. Sources told TNIE that Tamil Nadu is willing to pay the amount but after assessing how much has been spent on the canal.
The agreement between the states also involved cost sharing of the project and Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had asked for an immediate release of funds for the project.
Panneerselvam, who had last week written a letter to Naidu on the issue, flew in to meet him personally to make the request due to the severity of the problem.
The Tamil Nadu CM is also understood to have discussed other issues.
In a letter on January 7, Panneerselvam had urged Naidu to release water from Krishna river for Chennai's drinking water needs. Tamil Nadu has only received 0.99 tmcft of water from Kanadaleru reservoir. Reacting to this, Naidu had said that he needs to look into the issue as even Andhra is facing drinking water shortage.
Chennai is facing an acute shortage in its reservoirs. "I am given to understand that as on 5.1.2017, Kandaleru reservoir has a storage of 13.53,000 million cubic feet (TMC ft). Therefore, AP appears to be in a position to release water from Kandaleru reservoir to Chennai," Panneerselvam wrote.
In 1983, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh had signed an agreement whereby annually 12 tmcft (excluding evaporation loss) of water from Kandaleru reservoir in Andhra would be released at the Tamil Nadu border to meet the drinking water needs of Chennai.
(With IANS inputs)