Telangana Police personnel deployed at Nagarjuna Sagar dam after AP police barged into the premises earlier and released water. (Image: PTI)
In 2015 as well, the Andhra Police had made a similar attempt of entering the dam, however at the time, they were stopped by the Telangana security forces
Merely hours before Telangana went into polling, Andhra Pradesh took over the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and began releasing water, resulting in rising tensions between the two states.
In the wee hours of Thursday, when officials in Telangana were engrossed with the polls, close to 700 Andhra Pradesh policemen entered the project, opened the right canal and ‘unilaterally’ began releasing 500 cusecs of Krishna water per hour.
Andhra’s state irrigation minister Ambati Rambabu on Thursday shared a cryptic post on his X handle saying, “We are releasing water from Nagarjunasagar right canal on Krishna river for the drinking water purposes.”
Later, Rambabu clarified that in accordance to the treaty between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, only the water belonging to their state has been taken.
The minister said, “We have not flouted any treaty. 66 per cent of the Krishna water belongs to Andhra Pradesh and 34 per cent belongs to Telangana.” He said that have tried to open the canal in their territory, adding that, “this water is rightfully ours”, ANI quoted him as saying.
As tensions boiled up, the Centre stepped in, urging both the states to go back to the release of Nagarjuna Sagar waters as of November 28. This proposal was made by Union Home secretary Ajay Bhalla via video conferencing with both the states and the two have agreed to the arrangement.
To prevent any other conflict, the dam will be supervised by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). They will also keep a check on both the sides getting water as per the deal.
The matter came to light on Thursday when Telangana chief secretary Santhi Kumari alleged that around 500 armed Andhra Pradesh cops entered Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and damaged CCTV cameras and released around 5,000 cusecs of water by opening head regulators at gate number 5 and 7, the report added.
Kumari said that the move by the state created ‘law and order issues’ in Telangana when voting for the assembly polls were underway. She also expressed concern that this move would hamper the drinking water supply of Hyderabad’s two crore people and the neighbouring areas.
Telangana’s Nalgonda district registered two cases against Andhra Police. The cases were registered against AP police under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on charges of wrongful restraint, trespass and mischief, among others. A senior official told PTI that the Telangana police were also under the process of adding sections under the Public Property Damage Act.
According to the officials, On the intervening night of November 29 and 30, a large team of AP police forces “barged” in at the dam site and allegedly pushed aside the Special Protection Force (SPF) of Telangana who were guarding the access points of the dam.
Of the two complaints, one was filed by Telangana SPF. One of the SPF officials also said that they were wrongfully restrained by AP police. The other complaint was lodged by Telangana Irrigation department authorities, accusing them of damage and wrongful restraint.
In a similar attempt in 2015, the Andhra Police had barged into the dam, however they were stopped by Telangana’s security forces who had rushed to the stop to prevent the attempt.
(With PTI inputs)