Center Notifies Krishna Jurisdiction and Godavari River Councils

35 projects in the Krishna basin, 71 in the Godavari basin will come under the competence of the councils from October 14th.

Seven years after their incorporation under the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, the Center notified the jurisdiction of the Krishna and Godavari River Management Boards (KRMB and GRMB), transferring to them the operation of all projects, including hydropower generation, in the two river basins in AP and Telangana as of October 14.

Jal Shakti’s Ministry (MoJS) released the Gazette notice late on the night of July 15.

The notification brings 35 projects in the Krishna basin and 71 in the Godavari basin, under the competence of the councils, allowing them to operate the head works of dams, dams, reservoirs, regulation structures, part of the network of canals, transmission lines and power plants to projects.

Dispute between AP and Telangana

The notification is gaining prominence in the context of the escalating dispute between the two states over project work and hydrogen production in the Srisailam, Nagarjunsagar and Pulichintals reservoirs. While AP has long required notification of the jurisdiction of the councils, Telangana opposes it on the basis that transferring the operation of projects without clarity on the states’ water share would make no sense.

“Although the Centre’s efforts are aimed at defusing the growing tension between the two states over water sharing and power generation, there is likely to be a sail through the murky waters since the regulation of the water – supply by project for irrigation and consumption needs as well as hydel generation to projects – is going to be a difficult job in the absence of clarity on the water share of the two states as well as on the breakdown by project, ”said a retired senior engineer who spent many years on one of the joint projects.

The KRMB is mandated to regulate the supply of water and electricity generated by the projects or parts thereof taking into account any awards made by the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT), any agreement made or arrangement made by the KRMB. PA State then existing with any other State or Union territory and any other agreement that could be concluded by the States of the co-basin.

From the date of commencement of this notification, with respect to operational projects or from the date on which a non-operational project becomes operational, the AP and Telangana governments must fully cede the jurisdiction of the projects and their components to the KRMB. .

The CISF to help with day-to-day management

AP and Telangana were requested to deposit within sixty days from the date of publication of this notification a one-time initial capital of 200 crore each into KRMB’s bank account to enable it to perform its functions efficiently.

The most important aspect of the notification is the authorization of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to assist the KRMB in the day-to-day management of specified projects and other security-related work entrusted by the KRMB to these terms and conditions. as defined by central government.

The central government has mentioned Annexes 1, 2 and 3 for the purpose of this notification. Annex 1 specifies the head works (dams, dams, reservoirs and regulation works), the parts or elements of the canal network and the transmission lines over which the KRMB will have jurisdiction in accordance with the decisions taken at the 2nd meeting of the Apex board covering all and ongoing projects (subject to required approvals) in the Krishna River Basin in both PA and Telangana.

Annex 2 specifies the head works (dams, dams, reservoirs, regulation structures) and the parts of the canal network or the components and transmission lines of AP and Telangana over which KRMB will have jurisdiction and perform functions in accordance with to said law, such as administration, operation, maintenance and regulation.

Annex 3 specifies the head works (dams, dams, reservoirs, regulation structures), the parts of the canal network of the projects or components and the transmission lines of the PA and Telangana over which the KRMB will have jurisdiction. , but the functions provided for by said law will be performed by the respective states on behalf of the KRMB.

Unapproved projects

Completed and ongoing projects not approved within the above timelines will be subject to review and approval in accordance with said law and will be in accordance with decisions taken at the 2nd Apex Council Meeting.

It is further clarified that the mere inclusion of any unapproved project in the annexes does not confer deemed approvals.

According to the Gazette notification, the list of unapproved projects in the Krishna Basin includes – the AP projects of Telugu Ganga, Veligonda, Handri-Niva, Muchumarri, Galeru-Nagari, Siddapuram and Guru Raghavendra; Telangana Left Bank Canal Projects of Srisailam, Kalwakurthy, Nettempadu, Palamuru-Rangareddy, Dindi, AMRP, Bhakta Ramadasu and Thummilla; Muniyeru joint project and some resumed projects for the diversion of water from Godavari to the Krishna basin.

Likewise, unapproved projects in the Godavari basin listed in the notification include: Pattiseema, Purushothapatnam, Chintalapudi and Venktanagaram (all in PA), Kanthanapally, Kaleshwaram (additional capacity), Pranahitha, Gudem, Mukteshwar, Sitarama Ramappa-Pakhal, Tupakulagutavapally, Modikuntavapally, Modikuntavapally Hanumanth Reddy and Kandukurthi (in Telangana).

In addition, the central government has stipulated that no person from the PA and Telangana should be appointed president, member-secretary, members and chief engineers of the KRMB.

The central government’s decision will be final if a question arises as to whether the KRMB has jurisdiction over a project.

Both state governments must halt all work in progress on unapproved projects from the date of publication of the notification until such projects are assessed and approved in accordance with the provisions of said law and in accordance with decisions taken at that time. of the 2nd meeting. of the Apex Council.

If the approvals are not obtained within six months of the date of publication of this notification, the total or partial operation of said unapproved ongoing projects will cease.

Thelma J. Longworth

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