Water Resources Minister Nitin Gadkari on Thursday said the Centre was focusing on a project that would divert surplus water from Maharashtra’s Indravati river and the backwaters of Andhra Pradesh’s Polavaram dam to help ease the water crisis in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, PTI reported.

The minister made the remarks at an event organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry to mark World Water Day in New Delhi.

Explaining his plan, the minister said the surplus water from the Indravati, which meets Godavari, could be diverted to Kaleshwaram dam, and then transferred to two other dams before being pumped into the tail end of the Cauvery. Water from the backwaters of the Polavaram dam could be channelled into the Krishna river, and from there to the Pennar river in Karnataka, before being transferred to the Cauvery.

“So, we will be able to nearly solve the water problems of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu,” Gadkari said. “There will be no dispute.” The minister claimed that the water-scarce regions in these states could develop if 1,000 tmc ft of Godavari’s water that flows into the sea was saved and diverted there.

Gadkari said that the government was mulling over a plan to transfer water using pipes instead of canals, which requires land to be acquired. The Centre was also encouraging states to promote drip irrigation, the minister added. In this irrigation system, water is allowed to slowly drip to the roots of plants, either from above the soil surface or from below the surface. It, thus, helps save water.