In a move that could end a year-old dispute between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) has proposed to take over all reservoirs across the river in the two states.
The board which was created under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2014, is currently the authority in disputes that arise between the two states over sharing of power and water.
The board has submitted an operational manual to the Union water resources ministry for approval, which in turn, has asked the two states to submit their remarks, so it could go ahead and notify the 'takeover' through a gazette notification, a report in the Times of India adds.
This decision would imply that the board will decide the water release dates, time and quantity based on the requirements of each state. The board will also decide when to operate the power generation units under the two major reservoirs of Nagarjuna and Srisailam.
The water and power controversy started soon after bifurcation, when the Telangana government declined to adhere to the suggestion made by the joint team of officials of the two states to release 10 tmc feet of water downstream from the Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir for drinking purposes.
According to the AP Reorganization Act, operation and maintenance of Srisailam Dam has been given to AP and Nagarjunasagarâ€™s to Telangana, with each state accommodating a share of the other's water and power resources.
The fight often took an ugly turn with police and irrigation officials of the two states clashing publicly. The Centre had to post its paramilitary forces at the dams to enforce law and order.
After various outbursts and both parties taking digs at each other, followed by one threatening to take the other to the Supreme Court, the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) finally stepped in and ordered the release of 6 tmc feet later.
The dispute ended when the two chief ministers met in the presence of common governor ESL Narasimhan in February 2015.
"Based on the previous experiences and incidents, the KRMB has decided to take over the two major reservoirs. It will be notified once the Centre gives the approval," the TOI quotes a senior official in the AP irrigation department as saying.
The KRMB will also manage the security of the two reservoirs, for which it will deploy the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) at the two dams.
Andhra and Telangana have been asked to pay Rs 10 crore per year for security costs.