Official-level Talks on Tummadi Hatti Fail

2 more meetings likely; political decision seems the only solution

Published: 27th October 2015 04:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th October 2015 04:38 AM   |  A+A-

HYDERABAD: The official-level talks on fixing the height of Tummadi Hatti barrage on the Godavari on Maharashtra-Telangana border remained inconclusive on Monday as  officials felt that a political decision was required for breaking the deadlock.

A team of officials from Maharashtra held talks with Telangana irrigation officials at Jala Soudha here on deciding the height of the proposed barrage.

While the Telangana officials, who included state government’s irrigation adviser R Vidyasagar Rao and engineer-in-chief Muralidhar, wanted the Maharashtra officials to permit Telangana to construct the barrage to a height of 152 metres,  Maharashtra officials objected to it.

Maharashtra chief engineer Rasik M Chowhan and superintending engineer Bagade said they would agree to the maximum height of 148 metres.

“If a 152-metre high barrage is built, the entire Asik taluk in Maharashtra will be submerged,” they told their Telangana counterparts. “If the barrage height is below 148 metres, then the submergence area will be within the river bank alone. As Maharashtra will not get any apparent benefit out of Tummadi Hatti barrage, we will not allow submergence of land in our state,” an official from Maharashtra told Express.

Though Maharashtra and Telangana officials made a joint survey on the submergence, Maharashtra officials have not so far analysed the data. It was, therefore, decided during talks on Monday to have two more meetings to hammer out a solution. The first meeting will be held within two days at Nasik to know the flood flows at Tummadi Hatti site and the second in Mumbai in the next 10 days to come to any agreement on the submergence of area.

“Later, a political solution will be found to the barrage. The Maharashtra Assembly session will be held in Nagpur in December. A political team, likely to be headed by chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao or irrigation minister T Harish Rao which will be assisted by officials, will reach Nagpur in December to meet the Maharashtra chief minister and other ministers during the Assembly session,” a Telangana official said.

“If Maharashtra allows construction of Tummadi Hatti barrage to a height of 152 metres, Telangana can draw 120 tmcft out of the 160 tmcft of assured water allocated to Telangana. If the barrage height is below 148 metres, only 40 to 50 tmcft of water can be drawn,” Vidyasagar Rao told reporters later.

Vidyasagar Rao said Monday’s meeting proved  that opposition parties’ charges were baseless. “Opposition parties are quoting Union minister Hansraj Bhaiya, who hails from Maharashtra, as having said that Maharashtra government agreed to construction of Tummadi Hatti barrage at 160 metres height. The parties are blaming the TRS government that it had failed to go ahead with the project. But, in today’s meeting, the Maharashtra government categorically stated that they could not approve the barrage height beyond 148 metres,” Vidyasagar Rao clarified.

Arguments & Counters

Maharashtra: If the barrage is built to a height of 152 metres, vast areas of Maharshtra will be submerged.

Telangana: If the height is restricted to below 148 metres, TS can draw only 50 tmcft of the 160 tmcft assured water.

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