Our Bureau

Hyderabad, May 13

THE State Government has raised objections to the construction of about 11 barrages across the main river Godavari by the Maharashtra Government, on grounds that the latter was overutilising the water.

The Chief Minister, Dr Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, said that of the 250 TMC of Godavari waters allocated to Maharashtra, nearly 248 TMC were used for various projects already. Of the balance 2 TMC, the State was building these barrages, which would amount to overdrawal and curtail AP's access to the Godavari waters, he told Business Line.

Expressing confidence that these issues and the necessary clearances for AP's own proposed irrigation projects utilising the Godavari waters would be sorted out, Dr Reddy said in the next 3-6 months, work on these much needed projects would take off.

Meanwhile, the State Government has decided to send a team of officials to Mumbai to discuss and ascertain the actual position on the construction of these barrages from the Maharashtra Government and discuss ways of clearing up issues.

In an official letter to Mr N.D. Vadnere, Principal Secretary, Irrigation of Maharashtra, Dr C.V.S.K. Sarma, Principal Secretary (Irrigation and CAD), AP, has stated "the construction of 11 barrages taken up by Maharashtra unilaterally without informing AP is giving rise to apprehensions that it was over utilising the water."Requesting the Maharashtra Government to look into the current level of water utilisation, the letter sought details before going ahead with the construction activity.

The Sriramsagar project, which depends on the utilisation of the Godavari waters, has been impacted by these moves. It could hardly receive about 20 TMC, with the result the irrigation requirements could not be met and the situation is so acute that even drinking water could not be supplied, leave alone supplies to the Ramagundem Thermal Power Project of the National Thermal Power Corporation, the letter pointed out.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 14, 2005)
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