Nizamabad: The Maharashtra government is all set to close the 14 gates of Babli project on river Godavari on October 29 afternoon in the presence of irrigation department officials of both Maharashtra and Telangana and Central Water Commission (CWC). The gates would remain closed up to June 30, 2015.
As a result, inflows into Sriramsagar project will be stopped for next eight months. It would adversely affect the command area of SRSP, which spreads across Adilabad, Karimnagar, Warangal, Nalgonda and Nizamabad districts. Shockingly, the present water availability in SRSP is a mere 24.77 tmc. Due to lack of rains, the SRSP received only 14.75 tmc of water this monsoon season.
Full reservoir level of SRSP is 1,091 feet with 90 tmc of water and the present levels can only cater to drinking water needs. Due to shortage of water, SRSP officials did not release water for kharif crops of command area. Closure of Babli gates will also affect the rabi season in north Telangana districts.
Speaking to this newspaper, SRSP executive engineer B. Rama Rao said they would visit Babli project at Dharmabad in Nanded district of neighbouring Maharashtra on Wednesday. “Our counterparts in Maharashtra informed about the closure of Babli gates,” he said. “There is no chance for inflows from upstream area of river Godavari. Last year, we had surplus water in SRSP, but now the situation is different,” he added.
It is noted that Babli project gates will be closed on the directions of Supreme Court, which delivered verdict on February 28, 2013. As per the directions of the SC, the Babli gates will be opened from July 1 to October 28 every year, to let SRSP get inflows from river Godavari. During the closure of gates of Babli, the Maharashtra officials will utilise 0.6 tmc of water for drinking water needs.
There is no elected government in Maharashtra as of now as Assembly elections was recently completed. Due to this, the Babli gates will be closed formally. Last year, the gates closing was conducted in grand manner, with the Chief Minister, PCC Chief, former CM and other dignitaries attending the function....