Centre to take stock of Krishna and Godavari water utilisation

Exercise follows row between Telangana and A.P.; the aim is to assess whether there will be surplus water for new projects

Updated - June 10, 2020 08:48 am IST

Published - June 09, 2020 10:51 pm IST - Vijayawada

File photo of Krishna river.

File photo of Krishna river.

The Union government is going to take stock of water utilisation from the Krishna and Godavari rivers following Telangana and Andhra Pradesh filing complaints against each other.

At a video-conference on Tuesday, U.P. Singh, Secretary, Department of Water Resources, Union Ministry of Jal Sakthi, asked the Chairpersons of the Krishna and Godavari River Management Boards to procure the details of the irrigation projects in Maharashtra and Karnataka, too, and submit them to the Centre in a month. The main objective of the exercise appears to be to assess whether surplus water will be available for the new projects in the light of the disputes.

Mr. Singh also sought information about the projects that Andhra Pradesh and Telangana had on the two rivers.

The two States share stretches of the Krishna and the Godavari and own their tributaries. They have embarked on several new projects without getting clearance from the river boards, the Central Water Commission and the apex council comprising the Union Water Resources Minister and the Chief Ministers, as mandated by the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.

While the Godavari discharges over 3,000 tmc ft into the sea, the Krishna has almost dried up, with Maharashtra and Karnataka taking up large projects. Telangana has also taken up several projects on the Krishna and the Godavari.

Also read: Centre to soon take up linking of Godavari and Cauvery: Gadkari

No new projects in AP

In AP, however, no new projects were taken up. The previous Telugu Desam government expedited several unfinished projects to increase the water utilisation of the State. The Jagan Mohan Reddy government, which came to power one year ago, however, proposed a few projects to increase the utilisation of the Krishna water from a section of the river above the Srisailam Reservoir. This led to the Telangana government filing a complaint against the sibling State. The AP retaliated with its own complaints saying that Palamuru-Rangareddy, Dindi Lift Irrigation Schemes on the Krishna river and Kaleshwaram, Tupakulagudem schemes and a few barrages proposed across the Godavari were all new projects.

To recall the history of the disputes of the Krishna water, two tribunals have been constituted to resolve them. Andhra Pradesh, which was the very tail end of the Krishna River, has countered the second Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal order issued by Justice Brijesh Kumar. The State even filed a special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court and the same is still pending.

Maharashtra and Karnataka have been impleaded in the cases demanding that the order of the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal allocating additional flood water to the two upper riparian States be implemented immediately. The Brijesh Kumar Tribunal allocated 81 tmcft of surplus water to Maharashtra, 177 tmcft to Karnataka and only 196 tmcft to Andhra Pradesh . Andhra Pradesh, as a tail-end State, is claiming that it had a right on all the 448 tmcft of surplus water and moved the court.

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