Andhra Pradesh has refused to appoint its representative to the three-member committee sought to be constituted by the Ministry of Water Resources to regulate flows in the Godavari from Babli.
In tune with the Supreme Court’s judgment in the Babli case on February 28, Maharashtra has already nominated its representative on the panel which will be headed by a top Central Water Commission official.
The apex court validated the construction of Babli while Andhra Pradesh sought its demolition on the ground that it would curtail inflows to Sriramsagar project (SRSP) 80 km downstream. The court, however, ordered constitution of the committee to see that the shutters of Babli are opened from July 1 to October 28 annually to ensure inflows to SRSP.
The government and opposition parties joined hands — first time in the recent past over an inter-State issue, and expressed apprehensions over the efficacy of the committee in doing justice to Andhra Pradesh, as its office would be in Mumbai and its cost borne by Maharashtra.
As a follow-up of the all-party meetings on the issue, Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy has addressed a letter to Ministry requesting it to convene a joint meeting of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra officials, a pre-condition to forming of the committee. The ministry wrote back asking AP to nominate its representative first.
But Andhra Pradesh insists on the joint meeting as it is wary about the effectiveness of this committee following its bitter experience with the Tungabhadra Board.
On the other hand, if a joint meeting is held on Babli committee, Andhra Pradesh wants to prescribe certain terms and conditions to constitute it. It will file the review petition before the Supreme Court over the Babli judgment if this plea is not honoured.