Harish Rao questions Centre on clearances for Kaleshwaram
Hyderabad: Minister for Irrigation T Harish Rao on Tuesday questioned the Centre’s indecisive stand over the issue of much awaited hydrological clearance for the Kaleshwaram project that is high on the agenda of the State Government.
Speaking at the National Water Development Agency meet in New Delhi he pointed out that the proposed inter-linking of Godavari with other peninsular rivers was based on the plea that it has surplus water yield. But the Centre had failed to consider the importance of Kaleshwaram project intended to make use of 180 tmc out of the State just share of 954 tmc.
Linkages from Inchamplli to Nagarjunasagar and Inchampalli to Pulichintala were proposed by the Ministry of Water Resources because Godavari had adequate water yield to make use of Kaleshwarama project taken up by the water-starved Telangana on the same basis would merit consideration for according clearances without any further delay, he pleaded.
The abnormal delays in obtaining the statutory clearances such as CWC, environmental, wildlife and forest were defeating the very purpose of expeditious completion of water resources projects. He requested Gadkari to discuss this issue with his counterparts and agencies concerned . Water resource projects are not like other polluting projects as they provide long term water security and beneficial to environment in general and aquatic life in particular. An other issue is to provide focus on inland waterways through Government of India intervention.
Quoting the International Law (Helsinki Rules – Article IV) and the National Water Policy, he said the requirements of in-basin inhabitants of the riparian states had to be considered on first priority. After fully meeting the needs of the in-basin areas, out-side basin needs may be considered in those riparian states.
Similarly, if a State is part of more than one basin, intra-basin transfers from surplus to deficit basin have to be made first before transferring water to outside the river basin, he stressed.
“In a nutshell, all the requirements of the riparian states had to be met first before transferring water to any other river basin. These two tenets are sacrosanct to be observed for planning interlinking of Rivers in the country,” he said adding that the Telangana Government supports any proposal that follows the above two conditions.