VIJAYAWADA: The Godavari River Management Board (GRMB) has directed the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments to submit detailed project reports (DPRs) of ‘new’ projects taken up in the Godavari basin by June 10.
GRMB chairman J Chandrashekhar Iyer reiterated that the Telangana government should stop work on all ‘new’ projects, as was intimated in a letter dated May 30, until DPRs are furnished for technical appraisal. The Board noted that Andhra Pradesh submitted a few volumes of DPRs pertaining to its projects, and told it to provide the rest.
Speaking to reporters after the ninth GRMB meeting in Hyderabad on Friday, the GRMB chairman said, "Telangana officials agreed to submit DPRs of new projects for appraisal by the GRMB and Central Water Commission, and for sanction of apex council as stipulated in the AP Reorganisation Act after obtaining permission from their government. Andhra Pradesh also agreed to submit the remaining DPRs."
To a query on the status of projects in Telangana, to which the AP government had objected, the chairman said, "We earlier sought Telangana’s views on AP's letter on May 19. We also sent a communication on May 30 to stop all works until DPRs are submitted."
The board meeting was convened following a complaint by the AP Water Resources Department, which objecting to projects such as the Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS), GLIS Phase-III, Sita Rama LIS, Tupakulagudem, Telangana Drinking Water Supply Project (TDWSP), Ramappa Lake to Pakhal Lake Diversion and three barrages on the Lower Penganga River.
The board, on May 30 wrote to the Telangana Principal Secretary (Irrigation) Rajat Kumar directing that the works be stopped till appraisal of the projects is completed. The board noted that the projects violated the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.
Andhra Pradesh government to GRMB: Redesigned KLIS should be considered a new project
In Friday's meeting, the AP officials pointed out that Telangana was drawing more water from its projects. While KLIS was designed for 225 TMC, AP officials said Telangana was drawing 450 TMC, and 100 TMC from Sita Rama LIS, instead of 70 TMC. The AP officials also said KLIS should be considered a new project as it was redesigned.
However, Rajat Kumar argued that no new projects were taken up on the Godavari basin. "There is a provision in Godavari water allocation that the basin waters can be used within the allocation as desired by the state. We have 967 TMC-allocation as per our requirement and we can use it from anywhere. Also, KLIS can’t be a new project. Even the Centre agreed that it was a re-engineered project," Rajat Kumar contended.
While the Telangana officials contended that they have an allocated share of 967.1 TMC of Godavari water, their Andhra Pradesh counterparts disagreed. It is learnt that the AP officials said the Godavari Water Dispute Tribunal’s award was to be taken as the norm and there was no such provision as claimed by the neighbouring State.
However, the Board asserted that it was premature to comment on the issue as DPRs were not submitted. “AP has objected to nine projects of Telangana. We have asked Telangana to stop those projects. We will scrutinise the DPRs, once submitted, and take a call,” the Board’s chairman noted.
He added that a committee was formed to decide on the locations for installation of telemetry equipment.
“Another committee has also been constituted regarding modernisation of the Pedavagu irrigation project. It was decided that both states would resolve the issues and go ahead with the project,” he added. While Telangana officials gave a representation on allocation of Pattiseema water diverted from Polavaram, the Board said that the issue was being dealt with by the Krishna River Management Board.
The GRMB has also requested both the States to furnish agenda points for the proposed Apex Council meeting to be convened by the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti.