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AP agree to complete canal work early for Chennai Metrowater

Sharing Tamil Nadu’s concern over the poor realisation of water through the 152-km-long Kandaleru-Poondi Canal, Andhra Pradesh on Saturday agreed to take immediate steps for early completion of repair work on the canal.

A decision to this effect was taken at the 42 meeting of the inter-State Liaison Committee at Fort St. George on Saturday. Chief Secretaries of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, Sheela Balakrishnan and Minnie Mathew, both belonging to the 1976 batch of officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), led their respective teams.

A breach of the canal in Uppalamadagu near Kalahasti in Andhra Pradesh has led to the sharp reduction in the inflow. Even though 600 cubic feet of water (cusecs) is being released from the Kandaleru dam [the terminal storage point in Andhra Pradesh on the Krishna water supply system], the realisation of water by Tamil Nadu has been around 150 cusecs. As an alternative measure, water is being conveyed through pipelines at the point of Uppalamadagu.

At the meeting, Tamil Nadu urged the neighbouring State to have the repair work completed by summer. It even volunteered to extend help in the quick execution of the work, according to an official release. Tamil Nadu wanted at least 350 cusecs to be realised at its end.

The meeting also decided to constitute a standing committee of technical experts, which would include Chief Engineers in the Irrigation department of the two States besides the Chief Engineer of the Chennai Metrowater. As Chennai is the beneficiary of the Krishna water supply system and Chennai Metrowater is responsible for drinking water supply to Chennai, the water agency’s representative has been included.

The release stated that as the Kandaleru reservoir had a storage of 17.6 thousand million cubic feet (tmc ft) against its capacity of 58.6 tmc ft, a request was made to AP to ensure the release of water till October; provide about 8 tmc ft more for the current year and give 12 tmc ft for the entire year of 2013-2014. As of now, Tamil Nadu received 3.9 tmc ft against its share of 12 tmc ft. Tamil Nadu also called upon Andhra Pradesh to make arrangements for storing five tmc ft in Kandaleru for release during January-April.

The AP officials informed their TN counterparts that their government was examining operational rules governing the release of water to Tamil Nadu.

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