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Unapproved Godavari Projects Began Before Telangana Formed, GRMB Nod Not Required: Rao Tells Centre

New Delhi, Sep 6: Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao Monday told the Centre Telangana does not require the sanction of the Godavari River Management Board (GRMB) to go ahead with 11 unapproved projects, asserting these works had commenced before the state was formed. In an over one-and-a-half-hour meeting with Union Jal Shakhti Minister Ganjendra Singh Shekhawat, Rao informed that 11 projects mentioned as “unapproved” in Godavari basin — in the July 15th central government notification — were started before the formation of Telangana and are well within the 967.94 TMC share of the state. Giving project-wise details, he said an additional 1 TMC per day of Kaleshwaram project is not an additional nor a new project.

It has only been taken up with state government funds to utilise 240 TMC allocation made to the Kaleshwaram project by CWC, within shorter time period, and as such does not require any approval of the central government,” he said in a representation made to the minister. Whereas Kandkurthy LIS is a minor scheme serving 3300 acres and does not require any appraisal, while that of the Ramappa Pakhal Link and the Tupakulagudem barrage which are part of the Devadula project to “do not require any new approval,” he said. The chief minister also informed the minister that the Gudem LIS project is part of the approved Kaddam project constructed to serve the tail end areas and “does not need any approval.” Finally Kanthanapally, which is non-existent, may also be dropped from the list of unapproved projects, he said. “I therefore, request you that appropriate directions may kindly be issued to GRMB and CWC for taking immediate action, Rao said. The meeting comes in the backdrop of the Centre on July 15 notifying the jurisdictions of Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) and Godavari River Management Board (GRMB) to resolve interstate water disputes by bringing all the projects under the purview of the boards.

A total of 36 projects in Krishna basin and 71 in Godavari basin are proposed to be kept under the control of KRMB and GRMB respectively. And the states have to stop the works of unapproved projects immediately and obtain approvals within six months of this notification. Explaining the rightful share of Krishna and Godavari river waters with total evidence and proof, Rao said 11 unapproved projects as notified by the Central government are well within the 967.94 TMC share of the state.

Out of this allocation, projects for 758.76 TMC are already cleared by the Central Water Commission (CWC) and water availability has been cleared by Hydrology Directorate for another 148.82 TMC. The balance allocation of 60.26 TMC has been kept as a reserve for future projects, evaporation losses, etc, he said. Further, the CM said 85 TMC was allocated to Inchampalli project according to GWDT award and the interstate agreement among Maharasthra, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh. Also the Indira Sagar and Rajive Sagar projects were given ‘in-principle’ allocation of 16 TMC each. The Devadula LIS project was allocated 38 TMC, he said “…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,” he said in a detailed representation made to the Union Minister.

In lieu of the above four projects, the CM said in the meeting that the state government has decided to take up six projects totaling to 140.44 TMC, leaving a balance of 14.56 TMC as reserve. These six projects are: Sitaram project with an allocation of 70 TMC, Devadula LIS (with barrage of Tupakulgudem) with 4.5 TMC, Ramappa-Pakhala link with 3 TMC, Modikunta Vagu with 2.14 TMC and Chowtupally Hanumanth Reddy LIS with 0.8 TMC.

“As these projects are taken up by Telangana state out of water allocations already approved by CWC, the detailed projects reports (DPRs) of these projects may be expeditiously approved,” Rao demanded. The CM is on a weeklong visit to Delhi. He also met Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari.

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