All-party meet likely on Babhali

Govt to convene meeting with experts to discuss Babhali: Sudarshan Reddy

Hyderabad: Minister for Major Irrigation P Sudarshan Reddy said that the government would soon convene a meeting with the engineering experts and intellectuals to take a view on Babhali verdict. Addressing the media persons on Saturday, Sudarshan Reddy said that the Supreme Court had directed Maharashtra not to draw more than 60 tmc water on Godavari.

He said that the possible drawal of about 65 tmc from Sriramsagar Project through Babhali was prevented and Maharashtra should not obstruct non-monsoon flows in SRSP with the Apex Court judgment.

He said that the government would make use of the other directions in the judgement in favour of the state. On going for a review petition on Babhali verdict, he said that the government would take a decision on it after consulting engineering experts and intellectuals.

Asked about convening of an all-party meeting, he said that the government would consider the demand of the Opposition on it. He asked the farmers not to get worried over media reports on the Supreme Court verdict and actually the rights of the farmers of Andhra Pradesh are protected by it.

He said that Maharashtra should release 0.6 tmc to Andhra Pradesh by March first every year in lieu of utilizing water from the pondage of SRSP. He said that gates of Babhali should remain lifted during the period July 1 to October 28 every year.

State to focus on getting its due share of water

Hyderabad: The State government is slowly coming out from the shock of the Supreme Court judgment on Babhali and is focusing on the constitution of a three-member supervising committee – to see that Maharashtra does not draw more than 60 tmc of water as its share. It is learnt that the engineering officials have gone through the judgment copy thoroughly and took note of the valid points that are in favour of the State.

It may be recalled that the apex court had rejected the States plea appealing demolition of Babhali project on ground that it was built illegally.

The government is hoping that the constitution of the three member supervisory committee would be useful to Andhra Pradesh in exposing the deceitful gestures of Maharashtra in drawing water from Babhali for irrigation purposes under the guise of drinking water needs.

An irrigation official said, “Though SC had not ordered the demolition of the project, the judgment had several things in favour of Andhra Pradesh. Now we can prevent Maharashtra from resorting to pilferage our waters by taking it to the notice of the supervisory committee.”

According to the verdict, a three-member supervisory committee comprising one representative from the Central Water Commission (CWC) and one each from the states of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra should be constituted. The committee’s office and its expenses would be provided by the Maharashtra govt and it will be headed by CWC representative. The powers and functions of the supervisory committee include surprise visits, ensuring storage capacity of 2.74 tmc at Babli barrage.

The State government wants to use the committee as its weapon in checking Maharashtra’s deceitful acts like drawing more than 20 tmc water from upper streams by building 12 other small barrages in the guise of drinking water purpose.

“We can check the illegal drawing of water from Godavari by constant vigil and bringing the deceitful acts to the notice of the committee,” the official said, adding, the court has ensured that the interests of Andhra Pradesh and Sriram Sagar Project is not affected.

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