Telangana Bill gives key role to Centre in water management
Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Bill, 2013, currently under the consideration of the state legislature, envisages a vital role for the Centre in the management of water resources between the successor states of Telangana and (new) Andhra Pradesh.
Sharing and management of water resources between the two states, post-bifurcation, is likely to be a tricky issue given the complex nature of irrigation projects and water allocation in undivided Andhra Pradesh.
The President has given time till January 23 to the AP legislature to return the draft bill after due deliberations.
The draft bill says the Centre would constitute an Apex Council for the supervision of the functioning of two management boards of Godavari and Krishna rivers.
The council shall comprise the Union Water Resources Minister as its Chairperson and the Chief Ministers of the two states as members.
The functions of the council shall include planning and approval of proposals for construction of new projects, if any, based on Godavari or Krishna river water and also resolution of any dispute amicably arising out of the sharing of river waters.
The functions shall also include reference of any disputes not covered under Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal, to a Tribunal to be constituted under the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956.
The Centre shall constitute two separate boards to be called the Godavari River Management Board and Krishna River Management Board for the "administration, regulation, maintenance and operation of such projects, as may be notified by the Central Government from time to time."
As stated in the bill, the headquarters of the Godavari River Management Board shall be located in Telangana state and Krishna River Management Board shall be located in Andhra Pradesh.
The two boards shall be "autonomous bodies under the administrative control of the Central Government, and shall comply with such directions as may, from time to time, be given to them by the Central Government."
Each board shall consist of a Chairperson not below the rank or level of Secretary or Additional Secretary to the Government of India, to be appointed by the Union Government and two members to be nominated by each of the successor states and an expert to be nominated by the Centre.
Each board shall have a full-time Member Secretary, not below the rank of Chief Engineer in the Central Water Commission, to be appointed by the Central Government.
Each board shall be assisted in the day-to-day management of reservoirs by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
The functions of boards shall include the regulation of supply of water from the projects to the successor states having regard to the awards granted by the Tribunals constituted under the Inter-State River Water Disputes At, 1956 and any agreement entered into or arrangement made covering the government of existing Andhra Pradesh and any other state or Union Territory.
The functions shall also include the regulation of supply of power generated to the authority in charge of the distribution of power having regard to any agreement entered into by the existing Andhra Pradesh government and any other state or Union Territory.
The construction of such of the remaining on-going or new works connected to the development of the water resources projects relating to the rivers or their tributaries through the successor states as the Centre may specify is another function of each board.
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