The Union Government has decided to evolve a plan to transfer excess waters of the Godavari to Cauvery in a bid to address the water scarcity in South India.
Announcing this, Union water resources minister Nitin Gadkari said his ministry was working on two river linking projects that would provide water to water-scarce states as the country's agriculture was dependent on monsoon seasons.
"My ministry has decided to transfer surplus water from Godavari river to Krishna, to Pennar river (Karnataka) and finally to Cauvery," he said.
The ministry is discussing the details with the states concerned, he said, adding "in near future, we will come up with a concrete action plan."
Gadkari said 3,000 TMC of water from the Godavari goes waste into the sea.
"I am going to call a meeting of chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and with their approval, we will finalise the plan," the minister said.
"We will treat these projects as national projects because this is a river connectivity project," he said, Gadkari said 90 percent of the cost will be borne by Government of India and 10 percent by state governments.
"This can be a game-changer," he said.
Elaborating on the first project, Gadkari said initially 300TMC would be transferred from the Godavari to the Polavaram project (in Andhra Pradesh) through Nagarjuna Sagar Dam and to river Krishna.
After that water will be taken to Somasila dam on the Pennar and from there it will be taken to the Grand Anaicut on river Cauvery, he said.
"We will be taking the water through steel pipes and not by the canal," he said.
Through this initiative, he said, around 100TMC can be carried to the Cauvery thereby making available ample water to Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana will benefit from this project, he said.
On the second project, he said water from Indravati river (Central India) will be taken to Nagarjuna Sagar dam.
"Again it will come to Somasila project and from Somasila it will come to Cauvery without the Karnataka connectivity."
He said the initiative would solve the water problems in different parts of Tamil Nadu.