Tensions escalated between the two neighbouring Telugu states just hours before Telangana's elections, as Andhra Pradesh assumed control of the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and began the release of water.
At around 2 am on Thursday, when most Telangana officials were busy with the polls, nearly 700 Andhra police officers descended on the project, opening the right canal to discharge 500 cusecs of Krishna water every hour.
"We are releasing water from Nagarjunasagar right canal on Krishna river for the drinking water purposes," Andhra Pradesh state irrigation minister Ambati Rambabu posted a cryptic message on X on Thursday morning.
However, the minister clarified that the water they have released is solely what is allotted to the state as per the agreement between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
Rambabu clarified to the media that they have not violated any agreements. He explained that 66 per cent of the Krishna water is allocated to Andhra Pradesh and the remaining 34 per cent to Telangana.
He assured that not even a drop of water that isn't theirs has been used.
"We tried to open our canal in our territory. This water is rightfully ours," Rambabu said, NDTV reported.
Amid escalating tensions, the Central Government has intervened, encouraging both states to return to the release of Nagarjuna Sagar waters as per the situation on 28 November.
The suggestion was put forth by Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla in a video conference with representatives from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The plan has been accepted by both states.
In order to prevent additional disputes, the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) will be in charge of monitoring the dam. They will also ensure that water is distributed to both sides in accordance with the agreement.
In 2015, the Andhra Police attempted to force their way into the dam, however, their efforts were thwarted when the Telangana security forces quickly arrived on the scene and prevented the attempt.
The incident came to light on Thursday when Telangana Chief Secretary Santhi Kumari alleged that about 500 armed policemen from Andhra Pradesh came to Nagarjuna Sagar Dam.
She alleged that they damaged the CCTV cameras and released around 5,000 cusecs of water by opening the head regulators at gates number 5 and 7.
She stated that Andhra Pradesh's actions led to "law and order issues" in Telangana during the state assembly elections. She voiced her worries over the potential severe disruption to the drinking water supply for twenty million residents in Hyderabad and its neighboring regions.
Two cases were registered against Andhra Police in Nalgonda district of Telangana.
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