Maharashtra govt panel to probe barrage built by Telangana, after submergence of land

It is possible that Telangana constructed the barrage "in a different manner" than what it had conveyed, the Maharashtra government said in a recent order.
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The Maharashtra government has formed a six-member committee to examine the problems that arose following submergence of land in the state due to the Medigadda Barrage in neighbouring Telangana. It is possible Telangana constructed the barrage "in a different manner" than what it had conveyed to Maharashtra, the Uddhav Thackeray-led state government said in a recent order.

Land was acquired in Sironcha area of Gadchiroli district in eastern Maharashtra for the project.

The barrage was inaugurated by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao last year at an event which was also attended by then Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

The two states had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the construction of the inter-state irrigation project in August 2016.

"It is possible that Telangana constructed the barrage in a manner different from what it had conveyed to the Maharashtra government when the inter-state agreement with regard to the barrage was reached," the Shiv Sena-led government said in its order.

"Also, it needs to be examined what is (the area of) the forest land that will be submerged (due to the barrage)," the government said.

It also needs to be probed whether the certificate issued by the forest department was issued as per the government criteria or under somebody's pressure, it added.

"The local office of the Deputy Conservator for Forests had raised objections on certain aspects while the construction was on, but the then district collector instructed him not to act. This has to be probed,  as to under whose pressure it was done," said the committee's terms of reference.

The committee will also take up with the Telangana government the issue of compensation for farmers in Sironcha whose lands were submerged, the order said.

The panel, to be headed by Nagpur divisional commissioner, has been asked to submit its report within a month.

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