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Barrage construction by Maharashtra: Centre asked to intervene

Special Correspondent

`Babhali barrage on Godavari is violation of tribunal award'


  • `Maharashtra action is an encroachment into the water spread of Andhra Pradesh'
  • It cuts into the storage space of Sriramsagar project
  • The Centre should depute a team of Central Water Commission

    NEW DELHI: The Andhra Pradesh Government on Saturday urged the Centre to intervene and stop the "illegal" construction of the Babhali barrage on Godavari river by Maharashtra, charging that it was violation of the tribunal award.

    Leading a delegation, Andhra Pradesh Minister for Major Irrigation Ponnala Lakshmaiah told Union Water Resources Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi that Maharashtra was constructing the barrage and 11 other barrages at various locations on the river below the Paithan Dam (Jayakwadi project) which was an encroachment on the water spread of Andhra Pradesh and cutting into the storage space of Sriramsagar project. The delegation included 17 MPs and MLAs.

    Taking more than its share

    The State Government said Maharashtra had utilised its share of upstream water and the latest constructions would impound waters in excess of its share of 60 tmcft allocated by the Godavari Waters Tribunal. In spite of objections Maharashtra was going ahead with the construction. The Centre should depute a team of Central Water Commission (CWC).

    According to Mr. Lakshmaiah, the Union Minister asked both State Governments to submit a report by July 15 with two reference points. One that the Maharashtra action was an encroachment into the water spread of Andhra Pradesh and the other on the actual utilisation of water by Maharashtra.

    The Andhra Pradesh Government said CWC officials said at the meeting that Maharashtra was already utilising 59.86 tmcft of water and that the State Government did not require the commission's clearance for construction of barrages.

    The Union Minister said once the reports were available, a technical team of the CWC would visit Maharashtra within 48 hours to ascertain the ground situation.

    In the meantime, the Andhra Pradesh Government was keeping open all options, including appealing in the courts, Mr. Lakshmaiah said.

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