VIJAYAWADA: The Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) has again asked AP and Telangana, which have been sparring over the projects proposed by each other in the Krishna basin, to submit detailed project reports (DPRs) of schemes that were not apprised by competent authorities.
While both states agreed to retain the same ratio of water sharing (AP:TS - 66:34), it was tentatively decided to use surplus (flood) water equally. Like last year’s agreement, both states consented to share Srisailam power equally (50:50).
During the six-hour 12th board meeting in Hyderabad on Thursday, there was a difference of opinion of the definition of ‘new projects’, regarding which both states have been at loggerheads, opposing each other’s proposed projects.
“As per the Union Jal Shakti Ministry, projects that didn’t get technical clearance or apprised by a competent authority should be treated as new,” KRMB chairman A Paramesham said.
Don’t go ahead with unapproved projects: KRMB
“They should be cleared by KRMB and Central Water Commission and put before the apex council for final clearance... We asked both states to submit DPRs of projects, either old or new, which were not cleared by a competent authority,” the KRMB chairman added. It may be noted that the Telangana government has been opposing the Rayalaseema Pumping Scheme and upgradation of Pothireddypadu head regulator canal system proposed by the Andhra Pradesh government calling it a new project. The AP administration maintained that the proposed Rayalaseema project was only to supplement the drawl mechanism to use only the allocated share.
Similarly, Andhra Pradesh too raised objection over projects like Palamuru Rangareddy, Dindi and others arguing that they should be treated as new projects as they were redesigned by the Telangana government. But Telangana argued that the projects in question were approved much before the state bifurcation and hence don’t qualify as new projects. A Telangana MP has also complained to the Union Jal Shakti Ministry against the proposed AP project. In fact, Thursday’s board meeting was convened after the Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, following Telangana BJP MP Bandi Sanjay’s complaint, directed the board to hold a meeting.
Andhra Pradesh was represented by Special Chief Secretary (water resources) Adityanath Das and other irrigation officials, while Telangana’s principal secretary (irrigation) Rajat Kumar attended the meeting, along with other officials. To substantiate his contention, it is learnt that Telangana principal secretary Rajat Kumar made a presentation in which he even presented the government orders issued in 2013 which had given approval to study and design Palamuru Rangareddy project. Incidentally, the 2013 GO was issued by Adityanath Das, who was principal secretary (irrigation) then.
AP also contended that the said Telangana projects were not a part of para 10 of Schedule XI of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, which specified the projects that were underway during state bifurcation and hence would not need any new permission. When asked the board’s direction regarding the new projects, its chairman Paramesham reiterated, “The KRMB has already communicated to the members not to go ahead with the projects which were not technically cleared. So, the decision stands.”
Regarding water sharing for the new water year, which began on June 1, the board said both the states agreed to continue usage in the same ratio until finalisation of a decision regarding minor irrigation and Godavari diversion to Krishna River by KWDT-II.
The Telangana government sought a share in the surplus Godavari water diverted to Krishna basin by Andhra Pradesh. “There was a request by state governments to exempt utilisations made by them during flooding period when all the systems are in surplus. The technical committee headed by CWC’s chief engineer is finalilsing it. Until then, it was tentatively agreed to share in the ratio of 50:50. Some information was sought by the committee from the states. We requested the states to furnish the same. Once they do, we will also request the committee to expedite the finalisation of its report,” ararmesham explained.
The demand of Andhra Pradesh to relocate the headquarters of the board will be referred to the Union Jal Shakti ministry, the KRMB decided. “The AP goverbment has asked the board to shift the headquarters to its capital city. The Union Ministry of Jal Shakti will take the final decision, as discussed in the previous meetings too. So, the matter will be referred to union ministry of Jal Shakti for appropriate decision,” Paramesham revealed. The KRMB chairman said that the board decided to continue observations on the issue of losses in Srisailam Reservoir Left Canal.