With no progress on the implementation of the scope of Krishna and Godavari River Management Boards (KRMB and GRMB), the Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) decided to hold the third meeting of the Apex Council soon to persuade Telangana and Andhra Pradesh Is. To hand over the management of all the projects to two river boards.
Although the gazette notification issued by the ministry on July 15 under the purview of river boards officially came into force on October 14, 2021, the two member states are yet to depute the required administrative and engineering staff, yet to submit a lump sum Is. Seed money of ₹400 crore each, apart from not handing over the projects citing various reasons.
The two states have agreed to hand over only one Godavari basin project – Peddawagu in Khammam district, which has Telangana and Ayakat in AP. AP, on the other hand, has offered to hand over the management of the Srisailam project to one of the two common reservoirs, with the precondition that Telangana should hand over its hydroelectric projects/units at Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar.
However, Telangana has been consistently arguing that there is no need to hand over projects in both the Krishna and Godavari basins that meet the needs of only one state. “Our stand has been clear from the outset that river boards need to manage only joint projects, with a clear mandate on the water share and mechanisms to measure water withdrawals at all take-off points,” it added. A senior engineer told about the river board Hindu,
The engineer explained that Telangana’s suggested agenda for the Apex Council meeting would include approval of projects for Sitaram, Sammakka Sagar (Thupakulagudem), Mukteshwaram (Chinna Kaleshwaram), Modikuntavagu, Chanakha-Korata and Chautapally Hanmantha Reddy projects and for allocation of Krishna water. Mention of the case will be included. Anew to a new or existing tribunal.
A virtual meeting convened by the MoJS secretary on December 28 with chief secretaries, water resources/irrigation secretaries and engineers-in-chief of Telangana and AP had also failed to ‘break the ice’ in terms of implementation of river boards. Both the states stuck to their stand. On 27 January, the MoJS secretary held another virtual meeting with the chairpersons of the two river boards to check the status of the gazette implementation.
The last two meetings of the Apex Council, held in September 2016 and October 2020, had failed to bring about greater consensus among member states on contentious issues. The irrigation engineer said, “We are finalizing our priority issues for the agenda, as sought by the MoJS recently for the next Apex Council meeting, with the hope that at least among them the Center ( MoJS/Central Agencies) are pending.” said.