Hyderabad: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday said he will strive to get work started on the Godavari inland waterways this year. He added that once the project is completed it will change the economy of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Maharashtra.
"Our department has done feasibility study for Godavari waterways and I will soon give orders for preparing detailed project report (DPR)," he said after laying the foundation for four national highway projects amounting to Rs 1,523 crore in Hyderabad.
"The Centre will allot an initial funding of Rs 2,000 crore for this project. This is my dream project," the Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Water Resources said.
Mr Gadkari called upon the three states to contribute 10 per cent equity each for setting up a special purpose vehicle (SPV).
He added that he would procure the remaining funds at lesser interest rates and asked the governments of all the three states to send the proposals.
"Work on 10 waterways in the country has begun. We are bringing in seaplanes and the rules for this will be finalized in the coming months," he said. He added that waterways would substantially bring down logistical costs.
"For our industrial development, inland waterways are very important," Mr Gadkari said.
Mr Gadkari said 3,000 TMC of Godavari water goes waste and the Centre is working on two projects to stop this flow of water. Instead, the water would be used for the benefit of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
"We are working on stopping the wastage of water. Our priority is to see to it how these states will benefit from this," he added.
"First we want to tap water from Indravathi and take it to tail-end of Cauvery (in Tamil Nadu) through two dams. This will be a 50,000 crore project," Mr Gadkari added.
The second plan is through Polavaram project (in Andhra Pradesh). The plan is to transfer water from the river Godavari to Krishna river and from there to Pennar river. Finally it will join with the Cauvery, he said.
Mr Gadkari further said, "India and Pakistan have three rivers each. Our rightful share of water is flowing into Pakistan and hence I have directed the department to prepare DPR to ensure that we will be able to transfer the water to Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan."
He also announced approval of an additional Central Road Fund (CRF) of Rs 750 crore to Telangana in addition to the Rs 1,700 crore to the state.