In a dramatic turn of events just hours before Telangana’s elections, Andhra Pradesh assumed control of the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, triggering heightened tensions between the two neighboring states. The move, involving the release of water, unfolded around 2 am on Thursday, strategically timed when Telangana officials were preoccupied with the ongoing polls.
Approximately 700 Andhra Pradesh police personnel reportedly stormed the project, opening the right canal to release 500 cusecs of Krishna water per hour. Ambati Rambabu, the state’s irrigation minister, initially posted a cryptic message about the water release on X, later clarifying that it adhered to the state’s rights under the existing treaty between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
To mitigate further conflicts, the supervision of the dam has been entrusted to the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). The CRPF will ensure compliance with the water-sharing agreement, preventing any disruptions that could arise from the dispute.
The incident gained public attention when Telangana Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari accused Andhra Pradesh of deploying around 500 armed policemen to the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam. She claimed that the Andhra Pradesh forces damaged CCTV cameras and released approximately 5,000 cusecs of water by opening head regulators at gate number 5 and 7.
This move, deemed a breach of law and order, raised concerns in Telangana, particularly during the state assembly elections. Kumari expressed worries about the potential disruption to the drinking water supply for two crore people in Hyderabad and surrounding areas.
In response, two cases were registered against Andhra Pradesh Police in Nalgonda district, Telangana. Notably, a similar incident occurred in 2015, when Andhra Pradesh Police attempted to access the dam, but Telangana security forces thwarted the effort. The recent escalation underscores the longstanding water-sharing disputes between the two states.
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