Monday, November 24, 2014

DOUBTING THOMASES:Vanam Jwala Narasimha Rao

Vanam Jwala Narasimha Rao CPRO to CM
Vijay Kumar Gatika PRO to CM

Leader of the opposition in the Telangana State Assembly K. Jana Reddy, while  participating in a debate on budget in the House observed that it would be a miracle if the Government would be able to produce 20, 000 MW of power in the next three years. His voice sounded as if it is an impossible task to achieve the target. In fact, it is not just Jana Reddy but also to few others to whom the statements made and plans announced by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao sounded similarly. When the CM announced that total cleaning of Hussainsagar would be taken-up…..Skyscrapers would be built around Hussainsagar including one which will be world’s tallest…..Roads all over the state would be renewed and developed…..Tanks in the entire state would be revived…..Drinking Water would be supplied at the doorstep of each and every house all over the state…..Agriculture would be made as profitable as any other production activity that can earn Crores of rupees….Temple Town Yadagirigutta would be modeled on the lines of Vatican City…..and so on, it sounded to some that CM is aiming at miracles and day-dreaming. Some feel it is a fantasy-an imagination-and impossibility. Some expressed simple doubts. Some expressed confusion while others have turned restless. Even some of those well meaningful persons by nature too have expressed the view that CM is in a great hurry.

This sort of a scenario is not new to either TRS party or its supremo Chandrasekhar Rao. Earlier, on several occasions, when people who openly expressed that a particular thing was impossible, they had to eat back their words when the same was accomplished by KCR. Last Fourteen Years of concurrent history is fresh in our memory. All these years several activities which looked like miracles, which astonished many, which made critics dumb fold and which raised doubts in some became realities. Anticipating the result is a god gift to KCR. This will be known to critics only when it happens.

In 2001 at the time of starting of TRS party a senior journalist who has been an ardent supporter of Telangana movement was asked a question by his junior colleague enquiring the possibilities of separate statehood to Telangana under the leadership of KCR. The reply though optimistic was however not in favor of separate state. He limited the chances of TRS only to a level of emerging as a strong power to raise the issues of Telangana. Thus intellectuals too did not anticipate that Telangana would be a reality. But KCR achieved it. An impossible task-a miracle-became possible.

When KCR founded TRS, Chandrababu Naidu was very powerful and popular. Persons like Bill Clinton were all praise for Naidu. Media treated him as God. Congress tasted defeat twice by then and was a non-entity. It could not dare to raise its voice even when farmers got a rough treatment in the hands of Naidu. When everyone was scared to fight Naidu, KCR single handedly opposed him tooth and nail. When he resigned his Deputy Speaker’s post it was criticized as suicidal. The critics said that whatever happened to those who started party earlier will happen to KCR also. Not even ten persons came forward to join hands with KCR then. They could not visualize the future of TRS. But…what happened is history. When KCR proposed a White House like building for party office many expressed doubts. But KCR dreamt and it happened. Was it also a miracle?

When YSR wind was blowing with full velocity, KCR wanted to keep alive the Telangana Slogan and towards this he sacrificed positions held by his party men both at the center and state. He dared the Karimnagar bye-election. That was the time when several raised their eyebrows and said if he loses the election, it would backtrack Telangana Agitation. They said it was difficult to face YSR and his power. But…what happened is history. He won the election. It was a miracle for many.

He anticipated “Sakala Janula Samme”. He was confident that he could lead the masses and as the masses were with him he marched forward. It was KCR’s trust in people that opened a new chapter in the form of “Sakala Janula Samme”. When KCR undertook a fast unto death he was ridiculed by some. They said he would end his fast after couple of days. They described it as a drama to become popular among public. “Live or Die but get Telangana” was the slogan with which KCR proceeded and that changed the direction of history. Has anyone trusted that KCR would fast for eleven days which would ultimately bring Telangana one day? It is said that KCR did not even yield to the advice of Professor Jayashankar!

After achieving Telangana when he wanted TRS to contest on its own without any alliance, many thought it was adventurous and would be disastrous. In his own party, several senior leaders openly found fault with KCR decision. Some even left party against his decision. Political stalwarts said that it would be difficult to fight the Congress party that had money power and muscle power. But KCR anticipated the result. His party manifesto did not include any promise that cannot be implemented. For instance he did not agree for two lakhs loan waiver to farmers and instead insisted on only one Lakh rupees. Even his decision to start a channel to propagate party policies is courageous.

After winning elections also KCR as in the past continued his unveiling miracles. Some people even said that he may not even come to secretariat regularly. Some said KCR cannot work for hours together. In effect all proved wrong. Critics said comprehensive household survey on a single day is impossible….but it did happen. Flag hoisting at Golconda was doubted…but it did happen. Doubts were expressed whether “Our Village-Our Plan” will become a reality…but it is a reality now.

When all these happened why not the remaining? Whether it is cleansing Hussainsagar, building Skyscrapers, developing Roads, providing Drinking Water and Yadagirigutta as Vatican City…all will happen. End

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Srisailam Hydro Electric Project- Facts and Realities:Vanam Jwala Narasimha Rao

Srisailam Hydro Electric Project
Facts and Realities
Vanam Jwala Narasimha Rao

The Srisailam Hydro Electric Project was conceived in the year 1963. Subsequently the words “Hydro Electric” were omitted and named as Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy Sagar Srisailam Project. The Left Bank Power house has been shifted to the Right bank. The Power House envisaged generating pump power of 260MW at 60% Load Factor. The Commission on Project Plan (COPP) has recommended the power potential to increase to 377MW at 60% Load Factor by lowering the MDDL (Minimum Draw Down Level) of the Reservoir from 854feet to 830feet level.

Bachawat Tribunal did not make any allocation for Srisailam Hydro-electric project since it is meant for generating power and would not involve any consumptive use of water except for evaporation losses.  The Tribunal however, has allocated 33TMC of water towards the annual evaporation losses in Srisailam Reservoir. The storage reservoir at Srisailam involves annual evaporation losses of 33TMC, and therefore regulated releases from the reservoir are necessary for downstream irrigation. Bachawat Tribunal in another Report reiterated that Srisailam is a Hydro-electric Project for generating power without diverting to any other watershed, which does not involve consumptive use of water except for evaporation losses and there is no irrigation component.

Thus, the Bachawat Tribunal has clarified in no uncertain terms that Srisailam Reservoir is meant purely for generating power without diverting any water to water shed except for irrigation to downstream.  But the subsequent Governments have changed scope of the Project and introduced irrigation elements into the Project.  Srisailam Right Bank Canal and Telugu Ganga Canal for supply of water to Chennai City have been projected by the erstwhile Andhra Pradesh Government and obtained sanction from the   Central Government.

The MDDL of Srisailam Project as envisaged in the Report was at 854feet.  However, the Bachawat Tribunal recommended it to be in between 838feet and 830feet. While 838 feet level was accepted by the Government of Andhra Pradesh, 833 level was recommended by the COPP.  Ultimately the Government of Andhra Pradesh has fixed the MDDL of the Reservoir as 834feet vide G.O.Ms.No.69 dated 15.6.1996.

            Srisailam Right Bank Canal was cleared in the year 1994 with allocation of 19TMC of dependable flows of river Krishna obtained from the savings accrued from other Projects.  As per the Project Report prepared by Government of Andhra Pradesh a major portion of 19TMC of water amounting to 11.6 TMC is the crop water requirements in the Rabi season  and has to be drawn from flood flows to be stored in the  reservoirs at ‘Gorakallu’ and ‘Owk’.  A quantity of 5.5 TMC only is proposed to be supplied directly from the canal for irrigation requirement of the crops in Kharif season under normal flow conditions.

            As far as Telugu Ganga is concerned, for supply of drinking water to Chennai city an allocation of 15TMC was made. This is based on the dependable flows and through an agreement reached between the States of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The States of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka would be contributing 5TMC each.  The entire quantity is to be drawn during the period from July to October.

            G.O.69 was issued in the year 1996.  It accords priority to drinking water than to power generation followed by irrigation supply to NS Canals, Prakasham Barrage, SRBC, Telugu Ganga and SLBC. The G.O was issued to take care of interests of the Andhra region without bothering about Telangana region. The Madras water was accorded priority over Hyderabad water supply though the city is in Krishna basin where as madras not. Irrigation for Telugu Ganga got priority over SLBC. Irrigation for Krishna Delta (Prakasham Barrage) gained priority over   Nagarjunasagar Canals.

However, G.O.69 permits the supply of water for irrigation as well as for power generation up to 834feet, which is the MDDL of Srisailam Project.  G.O. 107 issued later, in September, 2005 changed the MDDL from 834feet to 854feet. This was done with an intention to supply water to the Rayalaseema Projects through Pothireddipadu Regulator whose sill level is 841feet.  Subsequently, G.O.233 was issued in December, 2005 specifying that the operation rules for Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar Projects prescribed in G.O.Ms.69 are also applicable for the drawls from Pothireddipadu Regulator. The G.O.69 was violated continuously. The then Government released waters to Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar Project below the MDDL of 834feet for irrigation, power and drinking purposes as and when it felt necessary. The argument put forward then was, that the state was at liberty to effect modification in the mode of supply, manner of supply and to determine the manner and the priority in which available waters are to be utilized and managed. 

The Government of Andhra Pradesh grievance against Government of Telangana is that it is withdrawing large quantity of waters from the Srisailam Reservoir for power generation with the result that levels are falling  alarmingly which would result in acute  scarcity in drinking water and irrigation for Rayalaseema  population who depend on Krishna waters.  As such they requested the Krishna River Management Board to order the Government of Telangana to stop power production immediately at Srisailam and the Board accepted their version and ordered Telangana State to discontinue power production with effect from November 2, 2014.

The power crisis in Telangana is caused mainly due to violation of Power Purchase Agreements by the Government of Andhra Pradesh as provided in the A.P. State Reorganization Act.  One of the alternates to meet the crisis is to generate power from Srisailam Reservoir. Withdrawal of water from Srisailam for the purpose of Power generation would not have any adverse effect on the downstream region and all the waters that were released for power generation would be available in Nagarjunasagar Reservoir without any wastage into sea.  Government of Telangana neither violated in consuming more than its share nor it has gone down the permitted level as envisaged in G.O.Ms.No.69.  Further, the waters used by Telangana State for power consumption was utilized for lifting the waters from bore-wells for irrigation in the water scarcity areas and the regenerated flows would join Krishna basin itself. But, the water supplied to the Rayalaseema for irrigation purposes, the regenerated flows would join the Pennar basin.  Further, the water used for generation of power by Telangana State would be available in Nagarjunasagar Project for providing irrigation as well as power generation.  Thus the benefits are two-fold in respect of irrigation and power for every unit of water released from Srisailam whereas in case of Rayalaseema it is only for irrigation without any benefit of power generation. Power produced at Srisailam is exclusively used for farming purpose only.

The functions of Krishna River Management Board are to regulate the supply of water to both the States in accordance with either the Tribunal Award or any agreements and other arrangements that have been arrived between the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh and other States or Union Territory. The Board has no authority to allocate the waters to the successor States, which is the prerogative of Tribunal. It has no brief to intervene in power production and cannot order Telangana to stop producing power. End