Maharashtra and Telangana Tuesday approved three irrigation projects, paving the way for bringing 30,000 hectares of land under irrigation in Chandrapur, Gadchiroli and Yavatmal districts of drought-prone Vidarbha region.
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and his Telangana counterpart K Chandrasekhar Rao held a meeting to discuss the projects under inter-state board to resolve water sharing in Godavari and Krishna basins.
The three projects given approval are Medigatta, Chanakha Korta and Tumdihatti on Painganga, Pranhita and Godavari rivers. This paves the way for streamlining water sharing and irrigation.
Fadnavis said, “The approval would help the state bring 30,000 hectares of land under irrigation, which would prove beneficial to farmers in Vidarbha region.”
He added, “Utmost caution has been taken to ensure that the irrigation projects would not lead to submergence of a single village in the region. Therefore, each project has been scientifically surveyed complete with water levels, which would be strictly maintained to avoid any inconvenience to villagers.”
The CM said precaution had been taken to retain the height of Tumdihatti dam at 148 metres instead of 152, as originally proposed.
The entire construction cost, including land acquisition, rehabilitation and village road infrastructure would be borne by Telangana.
It is estimated that the barrages would, however, lead to submergence of 150 hectares of land, which would be compensated for by Telangana as per new guidelines ensuring higher financial package to villagers.
At the chief ministers’ meeting, it was mutually agreed that Maharashtra will not compromise on its share of water to Telangana. The proposed heights of the projects are 148 metres for Tumdihatti, 100 metres for Medigatta, and 213 metres for Chanaka Koti. The formula arrived at was that Tumdihatti will provide Maharashtra 9 TMC and Telangana 20 TMC. Medigatta will give Maharashtra 4 TMC and Telangana 140 TMC. Water use of Chanakha Kota approved for Maharashtra was 0.3 TMC and Telangana 1.2 TMC. Fishing rights across these three projects would remain with Maharashtra.
In case of Chanakha Korta project, 6677 hectares of land would be covered under irrigation in Telangana. Maharashtra’s share would be 1214 hectares across five villages in Yavatmal. However, projects related to Digras barrage, Pimparda and Parsoda barrages over Painganga river, which was discussed, would be further pursued after another survey.
Maharashtra had categorically stated it cannot allow its share of water in Godavari or Krishna basins to be revised following the creation of Telangana state. And therefore, water in the state’s share will not be allowed for utilisation either by Telangana or Andhra Pradesh.