Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah on Monday led an all-party delegation to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to direct the Maharashtra government to dismantle the gates installed at Babli barrage and to take necessary action to put an end to the dispute.
The delegation, which had representatives from all registered political parties in Andhra Pradesh, met Mr. Singh at his 7, Race Course Road residence and proposed to him that he should call an urgent meeting of Chief Ministers of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh to resolve the issue of Babli barrage and 13 other barrages pertaining to Godavari main river.
They also urged him to personally intervene and take all possible measures to protect the interests of the lowest riparian State - Andhra Pradesh.
Andhra accuses the Maharashtra Government of carrying out illegal construction and installing gates at the Babli barrage against a Supreme Court order, but Maharashtra disputes it.
Noting that Maharashtra has constructed Jayakwadi Project across Godavari at about 262 km from source or 502 km upstream of Pochampad Project, the leaders said Pochampad Dam (SRSP) is constructed across Godavari.
“This project being the life line of the Telangana region and being the only source by gravity means is under great stress due to inadequate and insufficient inflows than contemplated because of the extensive construction of water retaining structures taken up by Maharashtra. Most of these structures are unauthorised,” they said in a memorandum submitted to the Prime Minister.
One such structure namely Babli Barrage has violated all canons of inter-State water sharing as it had been taken up in the very reservoir prism of the Pochampad project, they said.
They said Mr. Singh should ask the Maharashtra Government that the construction of Babli project, which falls within the water prism of Sri Rama Sagar and is being built without any permission from the Central Water Commission, may be stopped forthwith.
They said Mr. Singh should also ask the State government to stop other 13 projects, which are obstructing the flow of water and have been constructed without obtaining the permission of the CWC and consent of lower riparian States.
TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, who was recently arrested by Maharashtra Police for trying to visit the Babli barrage in Nanded District, PRP leader Chiranjeevi and TRS leader Vinod Kumar represented their respective parties.
The leaders asked the Prime Minister to strengthen the mechanism in the country for enforcing the tribunal awards and inter-State agreements on inter-state river waters to protect the interests of lower riparian States.