HYDERABAD: The State government, on Tuesday, urged the Centre to refer the Krishna water sharing issue between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to a Tribunal under Section 3 of Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956. The officials also wanted the Centre to clear the detailed project reports (DPRs) of Godavari river projects submitted four months ago.
Pankaj Kumar, Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS), held a video conference with the Chief Secretaries of both the Telugu States on the implementation of the gazette notification issued by the ministry. During the meeting, Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar informed Pankaj Kumar that the State government withdrew its case before the Supreme Court and asked to refer the Krishna water issue to a Tribunal. “Take immediate action on this,” the Chief Secretary said.
Responding to this, the Union Secretary said the Central government was actively pursing the matter with the Ministry of Law. “Soon after the receipt of the opinion from Law Ministry, the matter will be referred to a Tribunal,” he said.
Somesh Kumar, who participated in the meeting along with Special Chief Secretary (Irrigation) Rajat Kumar, Engineer-in-Chief C Muralidhar and OSD to CM (Irrigation) Sridhar Rao Deshpande, informed the Union Secretary that the Telangana government had submitted DPRs on six projects on Godavari River — Sita Rama LIS, Sammakka Sagar Project (Thupakulagudem Project), Mukteshwar (Chinna Kaleshwaram) LIS, Chowtpally Hanumanth Reddy LIS, Modikuntavagu Project and Channaka-Korata Barrage — to the Central Water Commission (CWC) in September, which are still pending with the CWC. The Jal Shakti Secretary assured that these projects would be cleared soon.
Somesh Kumar also referred to another five projects in Godavari Basin — Ramappa-Pakala link project, Kaleshwaram Project (additional 1 tmcft per day), Kandakurthy LIS, Gudem LIS and PV Narsimharao Kanthanapally Barrage — that were wrongly included in the unapproved list of projects in gazette notification of GRMB and asked the Secretary to delete them from the list of unapproved projects.
There’s no requirement for GRMB, officials say
During the meeting, the Telangana Chief Secretary observed that as there were no major issues and no common projects for regulation between the two States regarding irrigation projects on the Godavari river, adding that there wasn’t any need for GRMB. However, the Union Secretary said it was not possible to abolish the GRMB at this point.
On providing seed money, the officials said that States were facing financial crisis due to Covid-19 and it was very difficult to provide Rs 400 crore. “Tell us the purpose of the seed money, then we will look into it,” the officials said.
On handing over of the projects, the officials said that unless the operational protocols were implemented, which were mutually agreed by both the States, the handing over of projects wouln’t be possible.
6 DPRs pending with the CWC
Telangana Chief Secretary Somesh Kumar pointed out that the DPRs of six projects on the Godavari river was pending with the CWC, and also brought to notice of MoJS Secretary Pankaj Kumar that five projects on the Godavari Basin were wrongly included in the unapproved list of projects under GRMB