Hyderabad: The Telangana state government has criticised the Godavari River Management Board (GRMB) for its inaction on Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) of several irrigation projects proposed by the state government on the Godavari river for months in the name of scrutiny.
In a letter addressed to the GRMB chairman on Thursday, Telangana state irrigation engineer-in-chief C. Muralidhar said the GRMB was overstepping its mandate and demanded the river board to immediately send the DPRs to the Central Water Commission (CWC) without any further delay.
"In the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, it was clearly mentioned that the function of GRMB/KRMB is confined to "making an appraisal of any proposal for the construction of a new project on the Godavari or Krishna rivers and giving technical clearance after satisfying that such projects do not negatively impact the availability of water as per the awards of the Tribunal, constituted under Inter-state River Water Dispute Act, 1956, for the projects already completed or taken up before the appointed day June 2, 2014," Muralidhar said.
In the meeting of second Apex Council meeting held in October 2020, it was clearly mentioned that the "appraisal has to be done by CWC also, before placing them before the Apex Council for an approval as the river boards do not have the requisite wherewithal in terms of technical expertise," he noted.
In line with this, Muralidhar said the TS government had submitted the DPRs to the GRMB for giving technical clearance as per the award of GWDT.
However, “the GRMB is going into many other aspects of DPRs and issuing observations/ remarks, instead of examining whether the projects do not negatively impact the availability of water as per the Tribunal awards for the projects already completed or taken up before the appointed day”, he added.
He cited a letter addressed by the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) to CWC chairman in December 2020, on the DPR of Andhra Pradesh’s Rayalaseema lift irrigation scheme, wherein the river board had asked CWC to look into aspects such as hydrology, irrigation planning, water availability, inter-state issues etc because the KRMB was not having requisite expertise.
The KRMB had also requested CWC that such subject matters or issues or analysis relating to hydrology, irrigation planning, water availability and inter-state issues in the DPR may kindly be got examined at CWC.
"Since GRMB and KRMB have the same staffing pattern, the KRMB’s December 2020 letter implies that the GRMB also does not have the requisite expertise in areas such as hydrology, etc in the DPR. This implies that GRMB is not following uniform process in scrutiny of DPRs of Telangana projects and exercising powers which exceeded its mandate under the AP Reorganisation Act," Muralidhar stated....