HYDERABAD: It is a classic example of how the central government resolves the disputes between the states on river water sharing. The five-member committee headed by Central Water Commission former chairman AK Bajaj is winding up this month end without giving any report to the Centre on the water disputes between AP and TS.After being in office for almost one year, the committee drew allowances and other perks, conducted only two meetings and demitting the office without giving any report.
According to sources in the irrigation department, the Union ministry of water resources wanted the Bajaj Committee not to submit its report. Th committee, constituted in August 2016, started its work after a month’s delay. It is supposed to give a report in three months but it conducted only two meetings - one in Hyderabad and another in Vijayawada. It did not make any field visit either. For the two meetings, only three members came to AP and TS. The other two never visited the states.
Yet, the committee sought extension of tenure for giving its report. But, the Union minister declined to extend its tenure and, moreover, asked Bajaj not to submit any report. “Public money was wasted on paying allowances to the non-working committee. Ultimately, there is no outcome or report,” a senior official remarked. The tenure of the committee will come to an end this month.
The committee was formed when the dispute of Krishna and Godavari water sharing reached its peak between AP and Telangana states, post bifurcation of combined AP. The terms of reference are: To assist Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) in preparing a manual on how projects, common to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, ought to be handled and decide how the Godavari waters ought to be transferred to the Krishna Basin in accordance with the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal Award.