PNS n hyderabad
The chairman of the task force, Sriram Vedire, responded by saying that the allocated waters of both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh would not be touched at all while interlinking river projects.
The 17th meeting of the Task Force on the Interlinking of Rivers (TRILR) was held in Hyderabad on Monday. The task force was set up by the Centre with Sriram Vedire as Chairman. The task force’s mandate is to speed up the interlinking of rivers which is an ambitious project of the Centre.
During the meeting, Andhra Pradesh said the waters that have been allocated by the Godavari tribunal to Andhra Pradesh cannot be spared for the link project. They said that as long as their allocated waters by the tribunal are protected they would fully support the interlinking of rivers.
Telangana expressed its concern that Chhattisgarh should also have been called for the meeting as the link contemplates using the unutilized waters of Chhattisgarh.
Telangana also mentioned that they have submitted a few DPRs of their projects planned on Godavari River and requested that these DPRs be cleared by the Central Water Commission and Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, and they assured the task force that once these DPRs are cleared they would fully support the Godavari-Cauvery interlinking project.
They also mentioned that as long as their allocated water from the Godavari is protected they would support the project.
Sri Ram said that the unutilized waters of states like Chhattisgarh would be used and the Centre would obtain appropriate legal sanctions and build consensus amongst all the states including Chhattisgarh.
He said that calling Chhattisgarh to this meeting was not necessary as the Centre would work with the state at an appropriate forum.
The states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Puducherry while expressing support for the project, have requested the task force that all efforts should be made to achieve a consensus amongst all states and implementation of this project should be taken up as soon as possible.
He thanked the states for extending their cooperation to such an important project that would benefit all southern states.
The task force was appraised by NWDA that the preparation of DPRs of the three river links namely the Godavari (Inchampalli)-Krishna (Nagarjunasagar) link, the Krishna (Nagarjunasagar)- Pennar (Somasila) link and the Pennar (Somasila)-Cauvery (Grand Anicut) link under the Godavari- Cauvery link scheme has been completed and the DPR was circulated to concerned States/UT in April 2021.
Four consultation meetings with party States/UT have been held so far. A Technical Feasibility Report (TFR) has also been prepared recently by the NWDA to recast the proposal limiting the transfer from 7000 MCM to about 4000 MCM during phase-I from Godavari along with combining the proposal for supplementation in the Krishna basin through the Bedti-Varda link as per the decision taken during the third consultation meeting.
The TFR was circulated to party States in January 2023. The full potential of the nine links for the proposed transfer of about 15.7 BCM of water from Mahanadi-Godavari can be realized under phase-II.
In phase-I of this project, out of 4000 MCM that is contemplated to be transferred, about 2357 MCM is planned for irrigation, 616 MCM for drinking purposes and 855 MCM for industrial usage in Telangana, AP, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.
Under the National Perspective Plan for water resources development through the inter-basin transfer of water, prepared by the Union Ministry of Jal Shakti, for transferring water from water surplus basins to water-deficit basins, NWDA has identified 30 links (16 under Peninsular Component & 14 under Himalayan Component) for the preparation of Feasibility Reports.
The NWDA has completed water balance studies of basins/sub-basins and catchments up to diversion points, toposheet studies of reservoirs and link alignments, storage capacity studies of reservoirs, pre-feasibility studies, feasibility studies and Detailed Project Report (DPR) towards the implementation of inter-linking of rivers in the country.
The status of the top five priority links out of the total 30 interlinking river projects was discussed in the meeting but more specifically two of them, the Godavari-Krishna-Penna-Cauvery and the Modified Parbati-Kalisind-Chambal were discussed in detail.
The meeting was also attended by irrigation secretaries and Engineer-in-Chiefs of the states concerned with these two links, that is, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nädu, Karnataka, Puducherry, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.