Apex Council meet soon to discuss AP-TS water row

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat  

With the two Telugu States at loggerheads over the issue of utilising the Krishna and Godavari river waters by shooting letters against one another and lodging complaints with the two river boards in the recent weeks, the Centre has decided to convene the Apex Council meeting soon.

A communication was sent to the secretaries of Water Resources/Irrigation departments of the two States by the Ministry of Jal Shakti on Thursday indicating that the Apex Council meeting is on the cards. The meeting became a certainty after the two States complaining against each other in the river boards and Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat asking the Water Resources Department in his Ministry to convene a meeting of the Council at the earliest.

In response to a letter by BJP Member of Parliament from Karimnagar Bandi Sanjay last week seeking the Centre’s intervention in the matter of AP’s plans to divert 8 tmc ft of Krishna water every day from Srisailam, Mr. Shekhawat not only assured to convene the Apex Council meeting but also asked KRMB to convene a meeting “immediately”. Although the board meeting with the two States is yet to be held, a three-member technical committee is expected to meet here on Friday to discuss water utilisation by the two States during the current water year concluding at the month-end.

In a communication sent to Special Chief Secretary of Water Resources in Andhra Pradesh government and Principal Secretary of Irrigation in Telangana government, Under Secretary in the Water Resources Department of the Jal Shakti Ministry A.C. Mallick said: “As directed to convey, the next meeting of Apex Council constituted under the AP Reorganisation Act is likely to be convened shortly under the Chairmanship of Minister for Jal Shakti and Chief Ministers of AP and Telangana”.

The communication also pointed that the two States were yet to submit the details of the agenda to discuss various issues of Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) and Godavari River Management Board (GRMB) at the Apex Council meeting, thought of earlier, as agreed upon at a meeting held by Union Water Resources Secretary on January 21 this year. In the wake of the Ministry’s decision to convene the Apex Council meeting soon, the two States have been asked, once again, to send agenda points for the meeting on priority basis.

“Due for long, the issue of working manual for the two river boards, which is yet to be finalised, is also expected to figure at the Apex Council meet to give more role-clarity to the governing bodies, including taking swift decisions on installing water drawl quantity measuring equipment (telemetry) at all points of drawl in major projects, particularly the two common reservoirs — Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar — of the two States in the basin,” a senior Telangana official said.

After its constitution, the Apex Council Meeting was held only once so far on September 21, 2016 without arriving at any consensus on the projects being taken up by the two States. Chaired by the then Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati, the meeting was attended by then Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 8:24:40 AM |

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