Apex Council to meet virtually on August 25

The Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) has fixed the second meeting of Apex Council for August 25 to discuss the outstanding issues pertaining to water sharing within the existing tribunal award in force as also to finalise the working manual for the two river boards set up as per the provisions of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act.

To be chaired by Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the virtual meet would be attended by two members — Chief Ministers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh K. Chandrasekhar Rao and Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, respectively. Senior officials of the Ministry and the Water Resources Departments of the two States. The meeting was initially scheduled for August 5 but it was postponed on the request of Mr. Chandrasekhar Rao to a date after August 20.

With the major issue of water share between the two States pending before the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal and in the Supreme Court, the Apex Council, according to officials, would focus on the management of water allotted to combined AP by the Tribunals headed by R.S. Bachawat both in the Krishna and Godavari Basins with region-wise allotment of water. The dispute over water share and projects between Telangana and AP has come into focus since bifurcation of combined AP.

Issues such as finalisation of working manual for the two river management boards — KRMB and GRMB — operational issues, allocation of funds, installation of telemetry equipment, sharing of detailed project reports pertaining to new projects, complaints against each other by the two States including the AP’s plans to divert 8 tmc ft of Krishna water every day through Rayalaseem lift scheme and by expanding the drawal capacity of Pothireddypadu regulator are in the meeting agenda.

Although there has not been much dispute over Godavari water initially between Telangana and AP, objections have been raised by AP against Telangana’s projects in the Godavari basin too.

After its constitution, the Apex Council Meeting was held only once so far on September 21, 2016 without arriving at any consensus on the projects being taken up by the two States. Chaired by the then Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati, the meeting was attended by Chief Ministers N. Chandrababu Naidu (then) and K. Chandrasekhar Rao, respectively.

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