NEW DELHI : Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao on Monday made a strong case for Telangana’s right to utilise water allocations provided by the Central Water Commission (CWC) to the State in Godavari River. The State government seeking to utilise an additional one TMC of Godavari water per day under Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme was neither for an additional project nor was it a new project and thus, the Centre’s approval was not required, he asserted.
The Chief Minister made the assertion during a meeting he had with Union Minister for Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat on Monday, when he also sought expeditious approvals for Sitarama project, Devadula Lift Irrigation Scheme (LIS) (with Tupakulagudem), Mukteshwar (Chinna Kaleshwaram) LIS, Ramappa-Pakhala Link, Modikunta Vagu and Chowtupally Hanumantha Reddy LIS.
He requested the Union Minister to issue necessary directions to the Godavari River Management Board and CWC for immediate action in this regard.
During the meeting that lasted for nearly an hour, Chandrashekhar Rao said the 11 projects mentioned as unapproved in Godavari basin in the recent gazette notification issued by the Centre were, in fact, started before formation of Telangana State and were well within the 967.94 TMC share of the State in River Godavari waters. Out of this allocation, projects for utilisation of 758.76 TMC had already been cleared by the CWC and water availability had been cleared by Hydrology Directorate for another 148.82 TMC. The balance allocation of 60.26 TMC was kept as reserve for future projects and evaporation losses among others, he explained.
As per the Godavari Water Disputes Tribunal award and inter-State agreement among States of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh earlier, around 85 TMC was allocated to Inchampalli project. The Indira Sagar and Rajiv Sagar projects were given in-principle allocation of 16 TMC each. The Devadula LIS was allocated 38 TMC and all relevant clearances for the project were also obtained. Thus, a total of 155 TMC allocation was obtained from CWC for these four projects, Chandrashekhar Rao pointed out.
However, in lieu of these four projects, the State government has decided to take up the Sitarama project with 70 TMC, Devadula LIS (with barrage at Tupakulgudem) with 60 TMC, Mukteshwar (Chinna Kaleshwaram) LIS with 4.5 TMC, Ramappa – Pakhala Link with 3 TMC, Modikunta Vagu with 2.14 TMC and Chowtupally Hanumantha Reddy LIS with 0.8 TMC. “This aggregates to 140.44 TMC leaving a balance of 14.56 TMC as reserve. As these projects are taken up by Telangana State out of water allocations already approved by CWC, the Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of these projects may be expeditiously approved,” he said, in the memorandum submitted to the Union Minister.
Further, Chandrashekhar Rao explained in detail that the additional one TMC per day from the Kaleshwaram project was taken up with State government funds to utilise the 240 TMC allocation made to the Kaleshwaram project by CWC. It was also pointed out that Kandakurthy LIS was a minor scheme serving 3,300 acres ayacut, that does not require any appraisal. He also argued that the Ramappa Pakhal Link and Tupakulagudem barrage which are part of the Devadula project as well as the Gudem LIS which was part of the approved Kaddam project (constructed to serve the tail-end areas), do not require any new approvals. He appealed to the Centre to drop Kanthanapally LIS from the list of unapproved projects as it was non-existent.