HYDERABAD: The Telangana government is signing MoUs for the construction of five barrages with Maharashtra government on March 8. But, what paved the way?
The TS government, especially chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s ‘give and take’ policy worked in achieving much needed progress in the construction of irrigation projects.
As providing irrigation water to one crore acres is the top priority of the government, Rao took a major initiative and befriended his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis.
After Fadnavis took over as chief minister, KCR went to Mumbai and called on Fadnavis last year and the foundation for ending inter-state water disputes was laid.
During initial discussions, the TS government agreed to the demand of Maharashtra for restricting the height of the Tummadi Hatti barrage to 148 metres instead of the proposed 152 metres.
“Maharashtra’s objection sparked off an idea for reengineering and redesigning of irrigation projects in the state,” an official in irrigation department explained.
The TS government started an alternative route to tap its quota of 160 tmc from Godavari. Instead of Tummadi Hatti, the state government has decided to tap water from Medigadda near Kaleshwaram splitting Pranahita-Chevella project into two.
Besides, the water availability at Tummadi Hatti was low and plenty of water is available at Medigadda in Godavari.
However, Medigadda too is an inter-state barrage, as some portion of the land will submerge in Maharashtra. Telangana government conducted a Lidar survey. Maharashtra was skeptical even to Lidar survey report. Later, a joint survey was conducted by both the states on ground.
Meanwhile, locals in Gadchiroli in Maharashtra district objected over the construction of Medigadda. Fadnavis during his tour to Gadchiroli directed the officials to control law and order and allow survey works on Medigadda.
The bumper offer made by Telangana that convinced the neighbouring state is that Maharashtra can draw two tmc of its share from Godavari from Medigadda barrage, which will be constructed by the Telangana government with its money.
Reducing the height of Tummadi Hatti and sharing Medigadda barrage with Maharashtra is the success behind TS government.
“We are determined to provide irrigation water to every acre in the state. If the inter-state disputes continue, the cost will escalate and farmers will suffer. Maintaining friendly relations with neighbouring states will help our farmers,” an official explained.