KRMB insists on early meeting of Apex Council

Apex Council had its first meeting on September 21 last year, but no significant progress could be made

By Author   |   Published: 13th Sep 2017   9:32 pm
File Photo: Srisailam Dam

Hyderabad: The Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) on Wednesday wrote to the Under Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, to convene a meeting of the Apex Council to resolve contentious issues that have eluded solution so far at its level.

The Apex Council is the highest body chaired by the Union Minister for Water Resources and mandated by the State ReOrganisation Act, 2014, to iron out irritants on water sharing between the two Telugu States.

The Apex Council which had its first meeting on September 21 last year had its focus on evolving a mechanism facilitating amicable sharing of the river waters, but no significant progress could be made so far in this direction.

The Board Member Secretary Sameer Chatterjee requested the Ministry of Water Resources to convene the Apex Council meeting at the earliest to address the ‘grievances’ involving both the States.

He said the Government of Telangana had represented to the KRMB and Minister of Water Resources on the new projects taken up by Andhra Pradesh in Krishna basin. In response, the KRMB had requested the government of AP to furnish the DPRs of the projects concerned.

No DPRs were submitted for 10 AP projects and four TS projects so far. The projects of AP included Pattiseema Lift irrigation Scheme, Purushottampatnam lift Irrigation scheme, Muchumarri lift Irrigation Scheme, Gundrevula Reservoir, Lift Irrigation scheme for supplementation of the Gajuladinne project, Guru Raghavendra Lift Irrigation scheme, PuliKanuma Lift irrigation scheme, Sivabhashyam Lift irrigation scheme and Munneru scheme. So is the case with four TS schemes – Palamuru Ranga Reddy LIS, Dindi LIS, Bhakta Ramdas LIS, and Thummila LIS.

“But the DPRs of none of the aforesaid projects have been received in KRMB till date”. As a result the KRMB was not in a position to give its observations on any of these projects, he said.

With the sibling Telugu States taking unrelenting stands on water sharing issues, the KRMB in fact finds it an uphill task to ensure smooth operations especially in a lean year like this with the overall water yield of the basin being less than normal.

The board which was expected to play a decisive role in resolving water sharing issues turned a silent spectator on many occasions leaving the two States to fight it out on key issues.

AP had equipped itself well to divert about 80 tmc of water to Polavaram right canal by deploying 24 heavy duty pumps at Pattiseema to fill up Krishna barrage.

AP could make up substantially for the deficit inflows through diversion of water from Godavari to meet its irrigation needs.Meanwhile, the KRMB wrote to both AP and Telangana asking them to place indents for release of water at least one week in advance enabling it to take necessary steps.

It took strong exception to unauthorised withdrawal of water on either side. The commissioning of the Muchumarri lift scheme phase II by the AP government without its approval was also pointed out by the Board along with drawals from the sluices of Srisailam hydel units to meet the worsening drinking water scarcity in Nalgonda district of Telangana State.