Panel on Appraisal for Dam, Irrigation Works

Published: 17th August 2015 04:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th August 2015 04:17 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: Apprehensive of an increase in interstate water disputes in near future following the Centre’s decision to increase states’ share of Central revenue and discontinue the erstwhile Planning Commission’s system of annual plan finalisation, the Central Water Commission wants a mechanism of appraisal of dam and irrigation projects by experts in the sector.

The commission, in a letter to Ministry of Water Resources, has said that recent changes have reduced the dependence of the state governments on Central aid.

“It is apprehended that the state government may not get their irrigation and multipurpose projects techno-economically examined by the commission and other Central agencies. The tendency of the state governments to abandon or go slow on ongoing projects and to initiate the new projects with every change in the government may increase, which would deprive the region of the benefits on the investments already made,” said the letter.

Apprehensive that it may start a race amongst state governments to create more and more prescriptive rights to claim more share of interstate rivers, the letter said it might  result in “anarchy”.

“Such a scenario would have implications on compliance to Water Disputes Tribunal awards, court directions, interstate and international agreements, dam safety, sustainable development of the state, river basin and the country,” it added.

The commission apprehended that in the absence of any compelling reasons or statutory provisions, individual states may take up water resources projects without giving due consideration to integrated river basin management, optimum development of water resources in regional and national perspectives, leave aside the rights and privileges of co-basin states.

“Such a scenario may not be desirable for sustainable and equitable development of the country. The capacities of individual state to plan and implement projects vary significantly. The appraisal process as it exists now, provides considerable value addition to the quality of proposals and optimises the coast,” it further said.

The commission suggested that the project appraisal procedure be realingned and an official of the commission be added to the Expert Appraisal Committee or the river valley and hydro electric project of the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the terms of reference for such projects should include that the project has no adverse international/interstate ramifications,realistic assesments of design flood magnitude and optimised use of available water resources. A commission official said problems had already started between some states, and Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have already approached the ministry registering their protest over new projects being planned in the twin states.

Andhra Pradesh had written to the commission, complaining against Telangana for starting two new lift irrigation projects.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp