The dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana over sharing water from the Nagarjuna Sagar reservoir escalated on Monday, with irrigation officials from Andhra lodging a police complaint against their Telangana counterparts.
According to reports, the problem started after Telangana authorities stopped releasing water to the project's right canal.
There are two major dams on the Krishna River that lie on the border between the two states - the Srisailam dam which is upstream and the Nagarjuna Sagar dam which is downstream.
The Nagarjuna Sagar's left canal, which is under Telangana's control, is divided into three zones. While Zone 1 is entirely in Telangana and Zone 3 is entirely in Andhra, Zone 2 runs zig zag between the two states.
The control of the right canal is also with Telangana, after orders of the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB).
As Telangana officials cut off water supply to the right canal, Andhra irrigation officials reportedly rushed to the site and demanded that water be released.
A heated argument followed, and policemen had to be deployed on both sides.
While Andhra officials claimed that they were eligible to draw one more tmcft of drinking water from the project, Telangana officials claimed that the neighbouring state had used up its quota.
â€śWe have released 7,000 cusecs per day for AP and their quota was completed today,â€ť Telangana chief engineer Sunil told The New Indian Express.
â€śThe AP engineers tried to intimidate Telangana employees at the Right Canal Head Regulator and even threatened registering cases forgetting that they (TS staff) were only implementing the KRMB orders. We too cautioned them (AP engineers) about lodging police complaint against them,â€ť another engineer told The Hindu.
Despite this, Andhra officials went ahead and lodged an official complaint with the Guntur police on Monday evening.
Telangana and Andhra have been warring over the water ever since their bifurcation in 2014.
Keeping in mind the annual conflict, the Centre has tried to pacify the two states.
In September, last year, a meeting was held between Union Minister Uma Bharti, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and his Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhar Rao, along with irrigation ministers and top officials from both the states.
After the meeting that lasted for over two hours, the Centre stated that there was agreement on a few issues.
Uma Bharati had said that a telemetry system would be installed to gauge how much water was flowing into each state, and a joint committee from the Central Water Commission (CWC) would be constituted to study the issue in detail.
Several months later, work on the telemetry system is still not completed.
As far as the joint committee is concerned, a Bajaj Committee was formed, which was headed by former chairman of the CWC, AK Bajaj.
After holding meetings with officials of the two states in February this year, and touring the area, the Committee refused to intervene in the issue.
The Committee had initially expected to resolve the issue easily, but reportedly said that it was not easy, as both governments held 'widely divergent' views.
As of now, the KRMB is expected to hold a meeting of officials from both states this week, to discuss the water sharing during summer.