Hyderabad: Tensions escalated between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh just hours before Telangana's polls as Andhra Pradesh took control of the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, releasing water and sparking a conflict. At approximately 2 am on Thursday, nearly 700 Andhra Pradesh police personnel entered the project, opening the right canal to release 500 cusecs of Krishna water per hour.
"We are releasing water from Nagarjunasagar right canal on Krishna river for drinking water purposes," Andhra Pradesh State Irrigation Minister Ambati Rambabu cryptically posted on X on Thursday morning. However, he later clarified that they only accessed water that belongs to the state according to the treaty between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
"We have not flouted any treaty. 66% of Krishna water belongs to Andhra Pradesh and 34% to Telangana. We have not used even a single drop of water that does not belong to us. We tried to open our canal in our territory. This water is rightfully ours," said Mr. Rambabu to the media. In response to the escalating tensions, the Centre intervened, urging both states to revert to the release of Nagarjuna Sagar waters as of November 28. Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla proposed the plan during a video conference with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, and both states agreed.
To prevent further conflict, the dam will be supervised by the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), ensuring that both sides receive water as per the agreement. The incident came to light on Thursday when Telangana Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari alleged that around 500 armed policemen from Andhra Pradesh damaged CCTV cameras at Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and released about 5,000 cusecs of water by opening the head regulators at gate number 5 and 7.
Andhra Pradesh's move created "law and order issues" in Telangana during the ongoing state assembly elections, disrupting the drinking water supply for two crore people in Hyderabad and surrounding areas, she expressed concern. Two cases were registered against Andhra Police in Nalgonda district of Telangana. In 2015, Andhra Police attempted a similar action at the dam, but Telangana security forces thwarted the attempt.