Andhra has promised TN a 3,000 mcft (million cubic feet) of Krishna water.

Water woes Chennai gets respite as Andhra releases water from the KrishnaImage: The Poondi Reservoir (Wikimedia Commons/Puzhal2015)
news News Sunday, November 27, 2016 - 14:02

Close to a week after Tamil Nadu officials approached their counterparts in Andhra Pradesh, in the backdrop of severe water shortage, the latter has begun releasing Krishna water to Chennai from the Kandaleru reservoir.

Last week, even with the combined storage of four reservoirs, Chennai was reported to have drinking water for just 25 days.

Following this, TN Public Works Department (PWD) officials approached the Andhra Pradesh government and struck a deal for three thousand mcft (million cubic feet) of Krishna water to be released.

The Times of India reported that about 65 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of water flowed into Tamil Nadu at 5am on Saturday and water flow had increased to 220 cusecs by 6pm.

Stating that the supply would be stepped up to 500 cusecs, AP water resources secretary Shashi Bhushan Kumar told TOI, "On the solemn promise from our chief minister Chandrababu Naidu that water will be sent to Chennai, we released the water overcoming a lot of resistance by deploying teams of irrigation officials and police...We will definitely release against all odds.”

This isn't the first time that Tamil Nadu has approached Andhra Pradesh.

Last month, the Poondi reservoir, which is the prime water storage point for Chennai, received a steady inflow of nearly 75 mcft Krishna water from Andhra Pradesh.

The reservoir has a total capacity of 3,231 mcft. 

Tamil Nadu's water woes worsened after the dispute over sharing water from the Cauvery river.

There were multiple agitations this year in both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, after the former declared that it could not release water to TN due to a deficit, leading to an intervention by the Supreme Court. Karnataka had said that it had a deficit of about 80 tmc ft in its four reservoirs, but later complied with the Supreme Court’s orders.

With Bengaluru itself, on the back of three consecutive droughts across the state, likely to face a drinking water shortage in January, discussions on sharing the Cauvery water have taken a turn for the worse.

In light of the escalating conflicts over the sharing of the river waters, a draft proposal has also been drawn up by a group of concerned citizens.

Meanwhile, water experts in Tamil Nadu criticized the state for not taking a cue from its neighbouring Telugu states of Telangana and Andhra, on water management.

"Then united Andhra Pradesh earmarked a whopping sum of Rs 1.86 lakh crore for its ambitious scheme 'Jal Yagna' for a 10-year period from 2003 to 13. The newly-created Telangana has been going ahead with a flagship irrigation programme, Mission Kakatiya, at a cost of Rs 22,000 crore aiming at restoration of about 45,000 tanks and other waterbodies. In contrast, Tamil Nadu has spent only Rs 5,500 crore for irrigation projects during the last decade,” A Veerappan, a water expert, told The New Indian Express.


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