BJP’s proposal for Godavari-Kaveri river linking project puts Telangana at risk

For over six decades, Telangana has grappled with injustices regarding Krishna waters, and now faces a looming threat with the proposed Godavari-Kaveri river linking project. The BJP-led central government, having procrastinated on resolving Krishna water disputes for nearly a decade, is now embarking on another controversial endeavor. This project, purportedly aimed at diverting Godavari waters to Tamil Nadu, has sparked outrage and concern.

The project, allegedly driven by political motives, lacks scientific scrutiny and disregards the welfare of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Despite the absence of concrete data on surplus Godavari water, the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) is pushing forward unilaterally.

Critics argue that the BJP government’s actions undermine the fundamental purpose of river interlinking, which is to equitably distribute water resources across regions. Instead of addressing existing water deficits, the project seems tailored to serve political interests, particularly in Tamil Nadu.

The proposed linkage scheme, bypassing essential steps like Mahanadi-Godavari linking, raises questions about its feasibility and fairness. Moreover, the project’s technical aspects, such as dam construction at Icchampally, pose grave concerns. Experts warn of downstream inundation and ecological risks, highlighting the need for thorough assessment before implementation.

The Modi government’s failure to address concerns raised by Odisha regarding Mahanadi-Godavari linking further complicates the issue. By prioritizing political gains over equitable water distribution, the government risks exacerbating existing tensions and injustices.

Telangana’s reliance on Godavari waters for agriculture and drinking purposes makes it particularly vulnerable to any disruptions caused by the project. The Telugu states fear that the project, if realized, could lead to irreversible damage to their water resources and agricultural sustainability.