Telangana seeks postponement of meeting with AP on Krishna, Godavari water sharing

Hyderabad: The Telangana government has sought a new date with the Krishna (KRMB) and Godavari River Management Boards (GRMB) with regard to a crucial meeting that is to be held here tomorrow on August 9. Rajat Kumar, special chief secretary (irrigation), wrote to both the boards seeking a fresh date, stating that the state government’s inability to attend the meetings due to legal and court matters.

“it is requested to kindly indicate another convenient day so that members from Telangana state can attend the meeting and present their views,” said Rajat Kumar in his letter to the chairman of the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) on Sunday. A similar letter was sent to the chairman of the GRMB as well.

The meeting was to be held with officials from the KRMB, GRMB, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana over the implementation of both the river managements taking over the all the projects, effectively giving the union government control of all ongoing projects. A gazette notification for the same was passed for the same by the union Ministry of Jal Shakti on July 15, which stated that it will come into effect from October 14.

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“They (Andhra Pradesh officials) wanted instructions from the government of India for implementation of the gazette notification. Prior to that, they wanted to make all arrangements and discuss all the clauses, handing over of projects and a lot of other things with regard to the gazette,” said a senior official from Telangana’s Irrigation department. He added as per the July 15 notification, both states have to handover all the projects to the KRMB and GRMB.

“After the notification, state government will act only under directions of the KRMB and GRMB. The entire staff, work, contracts, premises, equipment, etc both boards will take over. They should act like neutral umpires, and if any injustice is shown, states will not keep quiet. We hope that there is fair play. In the Godavari basin there are 71 projects and another 36 projects in the Krishna river,” said the Irrigation department official.

He told Siasat.com that the KRMB and GRMB chairmen have to suggest convenient dates which should be free of other engagements for both sides. “We requested them to consult our secretaries, whose schedules are fixed a week in advance,” the Irrigation department added.

After the bifurcation of Telangana from the erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh, water distribution between both states has become a bone of contention with regard to various projects. One such example is the Srisailam dam. Out of the total 811 thousand metric cubic feet (TMC) of water in the Srisailam dam, 299 TMC has been allocated for Telangana’s projects, while the rest is for AP.

However, since 2014, both sides have been at loggerheads over water sharing, with each state often claiming that the other has drawn more than its share.

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