Union Minister for Jal Shakti (MoJS) Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana governments not to proceed with projects planned in the Krishna and Godavari basins without submitting detailed project reports (DPRs), getting them appraised by the two river boards and obtaining approval of the Apex Council.

In separate letters addressed to Chief Ministers of Telangana and AP K. Chandrasekhar Rao and Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy respectively, Mr. Shekhawat also wished that the second meeting of the Apex Council, which he said was long over due, be held “at the earliest this month to resolve all the outstanding issues amicably”.

The MoJS letters to the two Chief Ministers follow the postponement of the Apex Council meeting scheduled for August 5 after a request made by Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao that he had prior commitments and the meeting be held any time after August 20. However, the Union Minister has also pointed out in his letter to the AP Chief Minister that there was no response from that State even after the communication for the August 5 meeting was sent.

Mr. Shekhawat stated that “AP’s plans to draw 6 to 8 tmcft of additional water per day from Srisailam reservoir was in violation of the provisions of AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, and are detrimental to the interests of Telangana as objected to by the latter”. He has also drawn the attention of the AP Chief Minister that the Krishna River Management Board directed the AP government not to go ahead with the new projects till they were appraised by the river board and Central Water Commission and approved by the Apex Council.

In his letter to the Chief Minister of Telangana, the Union Minister stated that AP had objected to Kaleshwaram, Godavari (Devadula), Sita Rama and Tupakulagudem lift irrigation schemes, Telangana Drinking Water Supply project, barrages on Penganga and Ramppa lake to Pakhal lake diversion and they be stopped since they are in violation of the bifurcation act and till appraised by the Godavari River Management Board and approved by the Apex Council.

On Kaleshwaram LIS, Mr. Shekhawat said its DPR was approved for lifting only 2 tmcft water a day but the State government has changed the scope of the project to enhance the capacity to lift 3 tmcft water a day without submitting DPR, appraisal by GRMB and CWC and approval by the Apex Council. “Any change in scope or cost of the project needs to be appraised again”, the Union Minister said.

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