TS to puts its foot down; to resist Centre’s water gazette

The Centre had issued a gazette notification bringing all projects on Krishna and Godavari under the jurisdiction of the KRMB and the GRMB

Hyderabad: The Telangana state government has decided to stick to its stand on not handing over irrigation projects and hydel power stations to the respective river management boards of Krishna and Godavari (KRMB and GRMB) in the meeting to be held by the Centre with the state governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday to discuss on implementing the Centre's gazette issued in July this year.

Official sources in the irrigation department said that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao directed officials to present strong arguments in the meeting that Telangana was not in favour of handing over projects to the boards unless it addressed the issues and doubts raised by the Telangana government on certain contents of the gazette notification.

The Centre on July 15 this year issued a gazette notification bringing all projects on the Krishna and the Godavari under the jurisdiction of the KRMB and the GRMB with effect from October 14.

It has notified the jurisdiction of the KRMB and the GRMB which provide the required authority and power to the two boards in terms of administration, regulation, operation and maintenance of listed projects in the Godavari and the Krishna rivers in the two states. This step is expected to ensure judicious utilisation of water resources in the two states.

However, even after more than two months, the gazette has not come into force as both the states refused to hand over projects under one pretext or the other. With this, the Centre sprung into action to take steps to implement the gazette and decided to hold discussions with both the states in this regard on Tuesday.
The meeting will be chaired by Pankaj Kumar, secretary, union ministry of Jal Shakti. Chief secretaries of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, Somesh Kumar and Sameer Sharma respectively were asked to attend this meeting being held in virtual mode.

Both the states are required to deposit seed money of Rs 200 crore each to meet operational costs of the boards. None of the states deposited the amount so far. The meeting is expected to discuss depositing of seed money, handing over projects entirely to the boards listed under Schedule-II of the gazette and meeting the norms prescribed for projects listed under Schedule-III, which are under the management of respective state governments.

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