The tripartite meeting convened by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here on Monday of the Union Water Resources Ministry, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra governments resolved to direct the Central Water Commission (CWC) to continue to strictly verify the compliance of the Supreme Court's interim order on the Babli issue between Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.

Union Water Resources Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal announced this to journalists here, along with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah and his Maharashtra counterpart Ashok Chavan, after the meeting held at Dr. Singh's residence. Mr. Bansal said the decision was taken as the Supreme Court would be adjudicating the matter soon (August 16). The Chief Ministers agreed to “strictly abide by” the Supreme Court's interim order, he said. However, Mr. Bansal and the two Chief Ministers refused to take any question.

The Supreme Court, in its interim order in 2007, said Maharashtra could continue with the construction of the barrage, but should not install the 13 crest-gates on the solid structure, which was important as their height determined how much water could be stored.

Later, Andhra Pradesh filed a contempt petition against Maharashtra for not implementing the Supreme Court's interim order.

The Maharashtra government had installed all the 13 crest-gates as planned originally in violation of the order, claimed the Andhra Pradesh government.

It maintained that Babli was constructed within the foreshores of the Sriramsagar project reservoir, and it would curtail inflows to Andhra Pradesh.

On July 26, Mr. Rosaiah led an all-party delegation to Dr. Singh here and urged him to direct Maharahstra to dismantle the crest-gates and stop all illegal construction activities in the project site.

Keywords: Monmohan SinghCWC

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