Hyderabad: The state government is seriously exploring legal options with the Supreme Court to stall the Centre's move to notify the jurisdiction of Krishna River Management Board (KRMB).
Stating this, official sources in the irrigation department said this is in view of reports from Delhi that the Union Jal Shakti ministry has completed all the modalities and the Centre is all set to notify the jurisdiction of KRMB.
If notified, all the common projects on River Krishna that serve both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana would come under the administrative and operational control of the board. The KRMB will be the supreme authority and both the states have to seek KRMB approval to take up any new projects. The states will also have to seek approval for continuation of the works on irrigation projects that were already started without seeking approvals from the apex council and also for any redesigning of the existing projects on River Krishna.
As per the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, both KRMB and GRMB (Godavari river management board) were to be constituted and their jurisdiction notified
within 60 days from the date of bifurcation of AP in June 2014. However, it remained pending for nearly seven years due to lack of a consensus between TS and AP.
Official sources said the Telangana government wants the Centre to notify the KRMB jurisdiction only after the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal - II
finalized the allocation of Krishna water to TS.
The AP government on the other hand wants the Centre to notify the jurisdiction at the earliest so that the project management would be in the hands of the board, thus ensuring transparency in water allocation and usage.
The TS government fears that its projects on River Krishna, namely the Palamur-Rangareddy, Dindi, will be in trouble if the Centre notifies the KRMB jurisdiction without making water allocations. The state government has started these projects without seeking approvals for water allocations.
The AP government had already lodged a complaint with the Union Jal Shakti ministry as well as the KRMB against the Telangana government taking up the Palamur-RR and Dindi projects without obtaining any water allocation approvals.
The TS government too lodged a complaint against AP government for taking up the Rayalaseema lift irrigation scheme (RLIS), diverting Krishna water from Srisailam without seeking necessary approvals.
The second apex council meeting was held in October 2020 -- which was attended by the CMs of TS and AP through video conference mode. At this, the Union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat announced that the ministry had decided to notify the jurisdiction of both KRMB and GRMB. Following this, the KRMB has sent the draft working manual to the ministry.
The draft manual was also circulated between both the states several times, but no consensus could be reached. However, as the TS government continued to raise objections, the Centre had in the last apex council meeting said the states’ consensus was not needed and that it would go ahead with the jurisdiction notification.