Maharashtra agrees to form inter-State board
A major hurdle has been overcome for implementation of the Rs. 38,600-crore Pranahita-Chevella project, with Maharashtra agreeing to constitute an inter-State board (ISB) as proposed by Andhra Pradesh with Chief Ministers from both States, concerned Ministers and officials.
A communication, conveying Maharashtra's approval, was received by Adityanath Das, secretary, Irrigation (Telangana) from E. B. Patil, principal secretary, Water Resources, Maharashtra. This comes as a big relief to the government, particularly in the light of the doubts raised by critics whether it could get Maharashtra's approval at all. It is upbeat over the gesture made by the neighbour unmindful of the ongoing legal battle against Babli and 11 barrages constructed by Maharashtra across the Godavari.
It is also happy that Mr. Patil, in his letter dated January 19, 2012, indicated eagerness for ISB, suggesting that it could be formed “at the earliest”. As copies of the letter are marked for Union Water Resources Ministry, Central Water Commission and Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation, Nagpur, the government is of the view that the big problem is settled once and for all for this dream project of Telangana, because Maharashtra's stand is made known to them also for all purposes. Through the correspondence undertaken by Mr. Das for four years, AP had originally sought constitution of a committee of officials from both sides for implementing the project. Modifying this, Maharashtra, however, agreed to form an ISB.
Through Mr. Patil's letter, Maharashtra also cleared the draft agreement to be signed soon by the Chief Ministers of the two States to constitute ISB which would “act as an overall in-charge of investigation, survey and execution of the project”.
The approval has been provided for locating the ISB office at Hyderabad with the provision for conducting its meetings at Mumbai also. A standing committee will formed headed by Secretary, Irrigation, AP, to guide ISB on suitability of the site at Tummudi Hatti in Adilabad district for construction of a barrage across the Pranahita river to tap 160 tmcft of water to irrigate 16.5 lakh acres in Adilabad, Karimnagar, Nizamabad, Warangal, Medak, Nalgonda and Ranga Reddy districts and supply 30 tmcft out of this to Hyderabad for drinking purpose, 10 tmcft for villages en route, and 16.4 tmcft for industries.