Days after the Union government issued a gazette notification on the jurisdictions of the Godavari and Krishna river management to the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal or Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-II in the Telugu states, Telangana has written to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) seeking 50% share of Krishna water. In a letter to the KRMB Chairman, Telangana Irrigation Department Engineer-in-Chief (General) C Muralidhar requested that the board allow for ad hoc sharing of water in 50:50 ratio between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh for 2021-22, until the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal or Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-II (KWDT-II) decides on the issue. Stating that Telangana has continued to suffer large distress due to insufficient water, the letter noted that KWDT-I and KWDT-II had emphasised that in-basin areas must be prioritised before water is allowed to be diverted to outside basin areas.
After bifurcation of the two states in 2014, of the 811 TMC of water allocated to the former united state, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh were sharing water in 34:66 ratio (512 TMC and 299 TMC respectively.) Based on the parameters like catchment area, cultivable area, drought-prone area and population, Telangana told KRMB in its letter that it is entitled for 70.8:29.2 ratio with Andhra Pradesh, The Hindu reported. The letter mentioned that Telangana has set forth a demand of 771 TMC allocation for its in-based drought prone areas before the KWDT-II, The New Indian Express reported. As the tribunal awards have not made any project wise specific allocations or any operation protocol for common projects between the two states, an understanding must be forged to share the water on an ad hoc ratio on a year-by-year basis until the KWDT-II award is finalised, the letter said.
The Telangana government had earlier declared its intention to use 50% of Krishna river water following a high-level meeting on July 3, days before the Union government notified the jurisdiction of the KRMB and GRMB on July 15. Telangana has strongly opposed the notification, with State Finance Minister T Harish Rao calling it an encroachment on the rights of Telangana. The gazette notification gives the KRMB and GRMB control over the operations and maintenance of irrigation projects in both Krishna and Godavari basins, with effect from October 14, 2021.