Implementation of gazette order on river boards to take time

TS to give consent after studying action plan of boards

The implementation of a gazette notification issued by Centre empowering the Godavari and Krishna river management boards to resolve the water disputes between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will have to wait though Thursday (October 14) is the appointed day for the same.

The notification was issued fixing jurisdiction of the twin boards and giving them authority and powers in terms of administration, regulation, operation and maintenance of listed irrigation projects in the two river basins.

Special Chief Secretary, Irrigation, Rajat Kumar told The Hindu that the boards had submitted their action plan to Telangana government but it had to be studied in detail before consent could be given. The government had appointed an expert committee headed by Engineer-in-Chief of irrigation C. Muralidhar to study the operational procedures laid down by the boards and submit a report in 15 days.

The government will submit its proposals to the boards in case of any objections and seek clarification. It will not give consent if the stand of the boards was not agreeable.

On objections, Mr. Kumar cited the example of water allocation to the Krishna which was yet to be settled. How will the board handle the issue when the matter was sought to be taken to the Krishna water disputes tribunal – II?. The implementation of the notification was premature at this stage, he said.

Sources said the government had in principle agreed to handing over the common projects of the two States to the twin boards. But, it was not willing to give up the power houses on Nagarjunasagar and Srisailam.

After two days of deliberations at the special meetings of the boards on Monday and Tuesday, the minutes were communicated to the two governments on Wednesday. The Krishna board maintained that a “meaningful solution” to the disputes was not possible without taking over power houses.

The board finally decided that all direct outlets from the main reservoirs of Nagarjunasagar and Srisailam may be prioritised by the two governments for handing over to the board by October 14.

With regard to the Godavari basin, the board asked the governments to handover the Peddavagu reservoir which was jointly managed to carry out its mandated functions. Appropriate government orders may be issued for the purpose. The governments should also deposit one time seed money to the board.

The list of projects sought to be taken over by the Krishna board in the river basin were : Srisailam – spillway and sluices, left and right bank power houses managed by both States, Pothireddypadu head regulator, Handri – Niva, Kalwakurthy and Muchurmarri lift irrigation schemes.

Nagarjunasagar – project spillway, power houses, canal head regulators of two States and Alimineti Madhava Reddy lift irrigation scheme.

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