Three-member committee to supervise operation of barrage

The Supreme Court on Thursday declined the plea of Andhra Pradesh government against the construction of Babli barrage by Maharashtra in Nanded district for utilising the water of Godavari river.

The apex court said, “On the basis of facts which have come on record, a case of substantial injury of a serious magnitude and high equity that moves the conscience of the court has not been made out by Andhra Pradesh justifying grant of injunction.”

“In light of the above, we hold that Andhra Pradesh is not entitled to the reliefs, as prayed for, in the suit,” said a Bench of Justices R.M. Lodha, T.S. Thakur and A.R. Dave.

Committee constituted

However, the Bench constituted a three-member supervisory committee having one representative from the Central Water Commission (CWC) and one representative each from Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, with CWC representative being the chairman of the committee.

The committee has been tasked with supervising the operation of the Babli barrage and to ensure Maharashtra maintained storage capacity of 2.74 tmc feet of water out of the allocation of 60 tmc feet given to the State for new projects under an agreement of October 6, 1975 between the two States. Further, the Bench said that the committee will see that “the gates of Babli barrage remain lifted during the monsoon season, i.e, July 1 to October 28 and there is no obstruction to the natural flow of Godavari river during monsoon season below the three dams, Paithan, Siddheswar and Nizamsagar, towards Pochampad dam”.

The committee has to also ensure that “during the non-monsoon season i.e., from October 29 till the end of June next year, the quantity of water which Maharashtra utilises for Babli barrage does not exceed 2.74 tmc feet of which only 0.6 tmc feet forms the common submergence of Pochampad reservoir and Babli barrage and Maharashtra does not periodically utilise 2.74 tmc feet from time to time”.