HYDERABAD: The implementation of the Centre's gazette from October 14 taking over all irrigation projects on the Krishna and the Godavari hangs in the balance as no consensus could be reached between the Centre, Telangana and AP governments though the deadline is just two days away. Speculation is rife in official circles that the Centre may postpone the implementation of gazette by a few more weeks.
The Centre is making last-ditch efforts to convince the Telangana and the AP governments to hand over the projects by holding full-fledged meetings of the Godavari River Management Board (GRMB) and Krishna River Management Board (KRMB).
On Monday, the Centre convened a GRMB meeting with senior irrigation officials of Telangana and AP to discuss taking over Godavari projects. The KRMB meeting will be held on Tuesday.
The Centre urged the Telangana and AP governments to deposit seed money of Rs 200 crore each to the KRMB and the GRMB to enable boards to meet operational costs.
However, the TS government is pinning its hopes on the Centre postponing the implementation of the Gazette from October 14 following the request made by Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao during his recent Delhi visit when he met union jal shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat twice and sought postponement.
In Monday's meeting, both Telangana and AP officials raised several objections to handing over the projects on the Godavari to the Centre without addressing their concerns and issues raised by them. There are 71 projects on Godavari.
The TS government urged the Centre to take over only Peddavagu project, the joint project of AP and Telangana constructed at Aswaraopet in Kothagudem district which provides irrigation facility to 13,000 acres in AP and 3,000 acres in Telangana while the AP government wanted Centre to take over all projects on Godavari.
While the AP government agreed to provide Rs 8 crore seed money to GRMB, there was no commitment from the Telangana side. TS irrigation special secretary Rajat Kumar asked the GRMB officials to submit details on seed fund requirements which they would refer to the finance department for approval. He also said unless the state governments hand over projects, the Centre cannot take over projects unilaterally.
Rajat Kumar said that the Centre had to only monitor the projects and the states should be allowed to operate the projects on their own.