Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao and his Maharashtra counterpart Devendra Fadnavis signed three separate agreements in Mumbai during the first meeting of Godavari Inter-State Board. The irrigation ministers of the two states, MPs and senior officials were present at the historic occasion.
KCR was in Mumbai to sign the agreement which plans three barrages on Godavari and its tributaries Penganga and Pranahita, thus improving the water utilisation of the river.
Telangana will build a barrage of 100-metre height with 16 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) storage capacity at Medigadda in Karimnagar district. This will be part of the Kaleswaram project and this barrage will help irrigate 18 lakh acres of land in six districts.
In the second agreement Telangana will build the 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.
Telangana had shelved Pranahita-Chevella project after Maharashtra expressed concerns and revised the Kaleshwaram Project.
Maharashtra had also objected to Tummadi Hatti barrage at 152m FRL as part of Pranahita-Chevella forcing the Telangana government to re-engineer and redesign irrigation projects in the state.
The two states will also take up Chanaka–Korata project at 213 FRL on Penganga river with 105 TMC capacity. About 102 TMC of water would be utilised by Telangana, while Maharashtra would utilise 5 TMC.
The inter-state water board was constituted in March this year, following an in-principle agreement between the two states. The board has 23 members each from both the states, including the respective chief ministers.
According to KCR, 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 farmers 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.
Meanwhile, the opposition Congress leaders held a rally in Hyderabad and said it amounted to mortgaging the interests of Telangana farmers.