Hyderabad: Upset with the unexpected turnaround by the A K Bajaj Committee on the need for apportionment of Godavari water diverted by Andhra Pradesh to the Krishna basin, the State government has decided to lodge a strong protest with the Centre. It has favoured pre-emptive action to ensure that the State would not be deprived of its riparian share in Krishna waters.
The government has decided to depute its irrigation advisor and former chief engineer of the Central Water Commission, R Vidyasagar Rao, to Delhi on the special mission on Friday. He will meet the top brass of the Ministry of Water Resources and put forth its arguments effectively.
The issue was discussed at a high-level meeting on Thursday evening. On account of the augmentation of Krishna basin with diversion of water from Godavari, Telangana is entitled to a bigger share in the basin.
Terms of panel
As per the terms and reference of the A K Bajaj Committee, it has to assist the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) by preparing a manual on how projects common to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana ought to be handled. It has also been tasked with the responsibility of resolving the dispute over Godavari waters being diverted to Krishna basin through Pattiseema and Polavaram irrigation projects.
The diversion to the Krishna Basin has to be permitted in accordance with the Krishna Waters Disputes Tribunal Award. Clause XIV of the KWDT says that in the event of augmentation of waters of the Krishna by diversion from any other river, no riparian State shall be debarred from claiming before any authority or tribunal a higher share in the waters of the Krishna on account of such augmentation.
The State also wants to make a strong case against the Bajaj Committee for giving credence to the contention of AP that Telangana was under-reporting its utilization under minor irrigation. It also seeks to disprove the AP argument that the release orders issued by the KRMB were not being implemented as the operation of Nagarjunasagar is with Telangana. The Bajaj Committee came into existence as the Ministry of Water Resources had reconstituted the Mohile Committee on the demand of Telangana government.
The Mohile Committee’s recommendations were considered one-sided and biased against Telangana. Since the Bajaj Committee had backed out from its very objective on its maiden visit to the Telugu States, the government resolved to handle it with all seriousness.