Centre takes control over all projects on Krishna and Godavari rivers in a midnight coup

The Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) issued a gazette notification late on Thursday night that gave complete control of scores of projects in Telangana to KRMB and GRMB.

By   |  Published: 16th Jul 2021  10:51 amUpdated: 17th Jul 2021  12:43 am

Hyderabad: The BJP government at the Centre, in an unprecedented and shocking midnight development, took control of all the major and medium irrigation projects in Telangana State.

The Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) issued a gazette notification late on Thursday night that gave complete control of scores of projects in Telangana to the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) and the Godavari River Management Board (GRMB). The notification usurping all the rights of the State will come into effect from October 14.

According to the notification, the two river water boards will have complete control over the operations and maintenance of the common reservoirs in both Krishna and Godavari basins. Subsequently, 36 projects in Krishna basin and 71 projects in Godavari basin will come under the control of KRMB and GRMB respectively from October 2.

The gazette notification states that both Telangana and AP will have to stop works at ‘unapproved projects’ immediately and obtain approvals within six months of this notification. This would adversely impact several irrigation projects in Telangana including Palamuru Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme, Dindi Lift Irrigation Scheme and Srirama project that were expected to provide the much needed irrigation and drinking water facilities to the once parched Telangana.

What comes as a shock is that all the sanctioned posts in the projects will come under the jurisdiction of the two boards, besides plants, machinery, equipment and stores too. The Boards will also get to control office premises, equipment, furniture, vehicles, records and documents of the projects.

And to top it all, the two States will also have to deposit Rs 200 crore with the Boards towards ‘maintenance costs.”

The Boards will also have control over matters pertaining to power generation, transmission and distribution. All the major and medium projects are notified leaving only the minor irrigation to the States.

CISF personnel likely to guard projects

Hyderabad: Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) Joint Secretary Sanjay Awasthi said they had consulted the Ministry of Home Affairs for deploying the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) at the project sites.

Awasthi said the State governments would continue to operate the projects the way they are doing it now. But directions would be taken from the KRMB and the GRMB.

He said MoJS in coordination with the Central Water Commission (CWC) worked day and night to issue the notification and added that the crucial projects have to be maintained well in the interest of eight crore people of the two Telugu States.

The two boards would take care of the water requirements of Telangana and AP as 80 per cent of water in the multipurpose projects would be utilised for irrigation purposes while the remaining for power, drinking water and industrial needs.

Centre justifies its actions, cites APRA provision


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