Mumbai/Hyderabad, Aug 23 (IANS) The Chief Ministers of Telangana and Maharashtra on Tuesday signed a pact for construction of irrigation projects across Godavari river, ending the inter-state dispute.
Touted as the historic pact, this will pave way for construction of three barrages on Godavari and its tributaries Penganga and Pranahita.
Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis signed three agreements in Mumbai during the first meeting of Godavari Inter-State Board. Irrigation ministers of the two states, several cabinet colleagues of Rao, MPs and senior officials were also present.
Rao, his cabinet colleagues, Chief Secretary Rajiv Sharma and top officials left for Mumbai in a special aircraft to sign the pact.
Under the first agreement, Telangana will build a barrage of 100 metre height and 16 TMC storage capacity at Medigadda. To be constructed as part of Kaleswaram project, the barrage will help irrigate 18.19 lakh acres of land in six districts. The water coming to Sriramsagar, Nizamsagar and Singur reservoirs will irrigate an additional 18 lakh acres.
The second agreement was for Tummadihatti barrage on Pranahita with a height of 148 metres and 1.8 TMC storage. This will help in irrigation of two lakh acres of land in Adilabad district bordering Maharashtra.
Under the third agreement, Chanaka-Korata barrage will be built on Penganga river. This barrage with 213 metre height and 0.85 TMC storage will irrigate land in Maharashtra and Adilabad district of Telangana.
Speaking on the occasion, Telangana CM said with this historic pact, the two states set a new trend at a time when there were water disputes among several states.
He said Maharashtra and erstwhile Andhra Pradesh had problems for last several decades over the projects across Godavari but no progress was made in solving them despite having same party in power in both the states and at the Centre. Rao said he took the initiative to solve the dispute after formation of the new state of Telangana so that the water going waste into the sea could be utilised for the benefit of both the states.
Fadnavis said the agreements would protect the interests of both the states. He said the projects would ensure minimum submergence and would also lead to irrigation of 30,000 acres of land in Maharashtra.
He also extracted an assurance from Rao that Telangana will not question Maharashtra’s share in Krishna river water during the hearing of the case between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh before Krishna Tribunal and in the Supreme Court.
Rao clarified that their dispute is with Andhra Pradesh and not Maharashtra.