Centre calls Jagan Reddy, KCR for meet over water dispute between states
The ongoing dispute between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh over construction of new irrigation projects on Krishna and Godavari rivers in violation of the AP Reorganisation Act has reached the Centre for an amicable settlement.
Union minister for Jal Sakthi Gajendra Singh Shekawat has called for a meeting of the apex council on river water disputes between the two states on August 5.
The council, headed by the Union minister, comprises the two chief ministers – K Chandrasekhar Rao of Telangana and Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy of Andhra Pradesh.
A communication to this effect has reached the Telangana government on Wednesday.
“Both the chief ministers will be attending the meeting through video conference to put forth their arguments on the projects taken up by their respective states. The Centre will suggest a way out to settle the disputes over water sharing,” an official in the state irrigation department familiar with the development said.
The apex council was constituted as part of the AP Reorganisation Act in 2014 to sort out the inter-state disputes, since both the states, which were part of a combined Andhra Pradesh till June 2014, have common projects like Srisailam, Nagarjunasagar and Pulichintala on Krishna river.
Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh government on Monday issued a notification inviting tenders for the construction of the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Project (RLIP), aimed at lifting 34,722 cusecs of water per day from Srisailam Reservoir on Krishna river from a depth of 800 feet.
The tenders worth Rs 3,278.18 crore were called for the construction of the project under Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) basis within 30 months. The last date for filing of tenders is August 10 and the technical and commercial bids would be opened on August 12 and 13.
“With the lowest bid taken as the benchmark, a reverse tendering process would be conducted on August 17 and the successful bidder would be finalised by August 19,” the notification said.
However, the commencement of the RLIP would depend on the final judgment of the National Green Tribunal, which is hearing a petition filed by a Telangana activist G Srinivas, opposing the project stating that it was detrimental to the interests of Telangana. The NGT will take up the hearing on August 11.
The Telangana government, too, lodged a complaint with the Krishna River Management Board opposing the Andhra Pradesh government’s decision to construct the RLIP and also expansion of the existing discharge capacity of Pothireddypadu head regulator constructed on Srisailam reservoir.
Both the projects, worth around Rs 7,000 crore, are aimed at drawing an additional quantity of six to eight tmc (thousand million cubic feet) of water per day from Krishna river, which the Telangana government described as illegal, unilateral and against the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014.
The Andhra Pradesh government defended the same stating that the new schemes were well within the state’s rights. What is more, the AP government accused the Telangana government of constructing projects - like Palamuru-Ranga Reddy lift scheme which was in violation of the Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal.