Headless water boards mirror Centre’s disinterest in Telangana, AP
Headless water boards mirror Centre’s disinterest in Telangana, AP

Hyderabad: It seems the Union government is not serious in resolving Godavari and Krishna water sharing disputes between Telangana and AP post bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh state. The KRMB (Krishna River Management Board) and GRMB (Godavari River management Board), constituted by the Union Ministry of Water Resources, are functioning without Chairmen leaving the two states in a quandary.

The KRMB has been functioning without Chairman since January. While the GRMB was headless from July this after the incumbent HK Sahu demitted the office after attaining superannuation last month. He was also holding in-charge- chairman of the KRMB after its head Srivastava retired from the services in the first month of this year.

After the bifurcation of the state, the Centre constituted two boards in 2015 honouring the promise prescribed in the AP Reorganisation Act to settle water disputes between two states. Top officials said the KRMB member-secretary A Paramesham was given authority to look after the board affairs ever since Sahu retired as chairman in- charge to Krishna board and Chairman to Godavari Board. The role of the KRMB member-secretary is confined only to oversee the day-to- day management of the board without delegating powers to take any important decision. The GRMB has been left into the lurch with no specific official was given responsibility.

Officials said that many issues pertaining to utilisation of Krishna water, installation of telemetry system and operational protocol have been pending for eight months as there was no permanent Chairman to the Krishna board. As per the protocol, in charge – chairman Sahu conducted the KRMB meetings but did not take decisions on any pending issue. 

The other contentious issue of project wise allocation of water under Krishna basin and the study of utilization of water for irrigation and drinking water needs hit the roadblock for 8 months. Telangana raised several objections on allocation of Krishna water for drinking and irrigation needs to AP but they are still pending before the board as it is functioning sans head.

The GRMB has been entrusted to resolve the issues raised by Telangana government mainly the allocation of additional water from Godavari in lieu of shifting water from the same river to Pattiseema by the AP government. Under the AP State Reorganisation Act, the two river boards are to play a key role in rectify the water sharing and finalise judicious allocation between the two state. With the lack of full-time chairman to KRMB and the additional burden put on GRMB’s head stalled the progress in the preparations made earlier to settle the water disputes.

“Unless the Union Ministry for Water Resources takes a serious note of the appointment of new Chairmen for the two boards, the two states will not be relieved from the impending water wars between Andhra and Telangana in the coming days,” an official said.

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