Andhra Pradesh

Disputes over Godavari to greet new A.P. govt.

Chief Minister-designate N. Chandrababu Naidu may have to grapple with what could be a smouldering dispute between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh over the utilisation of the promised amount of water from Godavari.

Peasant organisations from the Godavari delta region are preparing to take up the alleged T-bias in river water utilisation with Mr. Naidu immediately after his swearing-in. A section of irrigation experts and peasant organisations from the State are of the view that the Telangana region was overexploiting the Godavari waters in excess of the assured quota allotted by the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal (GWDT) award at the expense of the irrigation interests in the Andhra region downstream.

According to the GWDT award, the undivided State of A.P. enjoys riparian rights over the assured quota of 1,486 TMC feet water from Godavari. K. Harinadh, an irrigation expert from the Godavari delta region, charged the Telangana region, allegedly aided by its political lobbying, with diverting 960 TMC feet water out of the total allocation for more than two decades. This, he alleged, was in excess of 100 TMC feet, which was diverted to dams and lift irrigation schemes in Telangana such as Devadula, Yellampalli and Pranahitha and Chevella. He added that the Telangana region was resorting to over-exploitation in the name of evaporation losses and duplication of ayacuts. As a result, A.P. had to settle for only 509 TMC.

Even as the GWDT has allotted 327 TMC feet for the Indira Sagar Project, the quota was subjected to a cut by 62 TMC feet. A similar cut by 43 TMC feet was imposed on the quota of 264 TMC feet meant for the Dhavaleswaram Barrage with an ayacut of over 10 lakh acres in East and West Godavari districts, with a rider that the ayacut farmers might compensate for the loss by exploiting groundwater, which, in fact, was not conducive to agriculture owing to salinity, Mr. Harinath said.

M.V. Suryanarayana Raju of the Godavari Delta Parirakshana Samithi said the farmers would also bring to the notice of the Central Water Commission (CWC) the “gross injustice” being meted out to A.P. farmers in the utilization of river water.

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Printable version | Jul 23, 2021 10:03:21 AM |

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