Krishna River Management Board Directs Andhra Govt to Stop Work on Rayalaseema Irrigation Project

The Krishna River Management Board has instructed the Andhra Pradesh government not to proceed with the tender process for the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Scheme (RLIS) till it was appraised by the Board and the Central Water Commission and also sanctioned by the Apex Council.

The project report of RLIS has not been submitted to the KRMB and CWC for appraisal, therefore, the state government cannot go ahead with the project, Board member Harikesh Meena told Special Chief Secretary (Water Resources) in a letter.

“It is reiterated that the government of Andhra Pradesh shall not go ahead with the above projects, till the same are appraised by KRMB or CWC and sanction from the apex council is obtained.” Meena said in the letter.

The AP government on July 27 invited bids for building the RLIS under Engineering, Procurement and Construction mode at a cost of Rs 3,278 crore. As per the tender notification, the scheme is to be completed within 30 months.

The scheme is intended to draw 34,722 cusecs of water daily from Srisailam reservoir, fed by the Krishna, when the water level reaches 800 feet.

The irrigation department of the Telangana government had lodged a complaint with the KRMB in May against the proposed RLIS saying it was proposed in violation of the AP Reorganisation Act, 2014, as it did not have requisite clearance or approval from the KRMB, CWC or the Apex Council.

The AP government had also filed a counter complaint saying Telangana was also going ahead with certain new projects on the Krishna, violating the Act. The KRMB had directed the Telangana government in May not to go ahead with the proposed projects.

Nevertheless, the Andhra government invited bids for execution of the RLIS, prompting a fresh directive from the KRMB.

The Board made it clear that for any new projects, a DPR should be submitted to the CWC and permission should be taken from the Apex Committee.

“The actions taken by the AP government which are in violation of this procedure will be viewed as violation of the Act, the KRMB amply clarified,” an official release from the Telangana government said.

The AP governments initiative kicked up a political storm recently in Telangana with opposition parties blaming the K-Chandrashekhar Rao government for not being able to stop the neighbouring state’s move.

The Andhra government proposed an irrigation project at Srisailam to divert Krishna waters to the Kurnool, Kadapa and Chittore districts. Recently, it also gave administrative sanction for the project and the irrigation department.

(With PTI inputs)

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