HYDERABAD: After the Jal Shakti Ministry issued the gazette notification bringing 107 irrigation projects under the purview of the KRMB (Krishna River Management Board) and GRMB (Godavari River Management Board), the State government is now vigorously lobbying for a new tribunal for Krishna river. It wants a new tribunal so that a fresh allocation of Krishna river waters could be made for Telangana as it is a separate State now. “Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is lobbying for a new tribunal,” official sources in the Irrigation department said on Monday.
The State has already filed a petition in the Supreme Court to withdraw its case, which will pave the way for the Centre to refer the river water sharing issue between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to a tribunal under Section 3 of the Interstate River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956.
Till the new tribunal is constituted and fresh allocation of water is made to Telangana, will the current arrangement of AP getting 512 tmcft of Krishna river water and Telangana getting 299 tmcft be acceptable to Telangana? When asked, Special Chief Secretary, Irrigation, Rajat Kumar said: “In the previous years, some ad hoc arrangements were made for distribution of waters. We will demand the KRMB to share river waters in a 50:50 ratio this year.”
This would mean that Telangana will demand for 405.5 tmcft of water from this year onwards, till the Tribunal makes a fair allocation under Section 3 of the ISRWD Act. “We have all the required parameters, like population and catchment area, to get a fair share of Krishna river waters. The State requires at least 565 tmcft of water from the river,” Rajat Kumar said.
The official added, “We are studying the legal, technical and administrative aspects of the gazette notification. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will take a final call on how the government should respond to it.” Stating that the State government would submit detailed project reports (DPRs) to the Board, he hoped that the Centre would give clearance within six months to the unapproved projects mentioned in the gazette. Rajat Kumar recalled that these projects were sanctioned by the combined AP government about 20 years ago.