Water dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
The standoff over Krishna water sharing between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh continues as no permanent solution has been found to the dispute so far.
- The ongoing disagreement over Krishna river water-sharing has been instrumental in shaping politics in the region.
- Along with this, the water dispute has been fueled from time to time for political gains.
- Andhra Pradesh alleges that Telangana is using water from four projects – Jurala, Srisailam, Nagarjuna Sagar and Pulichintala – without approval from the Krishna River Management Board for hydropower generation.
- It is known that the ‘Krishna River Management Board’ is an autonomous body established after the bifurcation of the state for water management and regulation in the Krishna river basin.
- Telangana says it will continue to generate hydroelectricity to meet its electricity needs. Also, it has strongly opposed the Andhra Pradesh government’s irrigation projects (particularly the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Project). Telangana has demanded 50:50 allocation of water from Krishna river.
Dispute resolution efforts –
- Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) was formed in the year 1969 for the settlement of Krishna river water dispute.
- This tribunal submitted its report in the year 1973. The tribunal fixed 560 TMC for Maharashtra, 700 TMC for Karnataka and 800 TMC for Andhra Pradesh. Along with this, after May 31, 2000, it was also talked about its review and required amendment.
- As the dispute between the states increased, ‘Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-2’ was established in the year 2004, which submitted its final report in the year 2010. This final decision will be valid till the year 2050.
- However, after the formation of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh has been pushing for a review of the tribunal’s decision and making Telangana a party to the water dispute.
Present status of water sharing –
- After separation of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh, both the states have agreed to share water on 66:34 basis informally/ad hoc till the final decision on water allocation by ‘Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-2’.
- Of the 811 TMC (thousand million cubic) feet of water allocated to the two states combined, currently Andhra Pradesh and Telangana get 512 TMC feet and 299 TMC feet, respectively.
- Telangana wants the ‘Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-2’ to settle the water dispute permanently, and the board to hold a mutually agreed plenary meeting.
Water dispute and constitutional side –
- Under Article-262 of the Constitution, the Parliament can enact laws to resolve disputes or complaints related to the use, distribution and control of any inter-state river and river valley water.
- The Parliament has passed two laws under Article-262, namely- ‘River Board Act, 1956’ and ‘Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956’.
- Under the River Board Act, a provision has been made for the formation of River Board by the Central Government for the regulation and development of inter-state river and river valleys.
- River Boards are formed on the request of the State Governments to advise them.
- The Inter-State Water Disputes Act empowers the Central Government to set up an Ad-hoc Tribunal to settle disputes between two or more states over the waters of an inter-state river or river valley.
- The Act does not prescribe a maximum time limit for giving a decision. The decision of the Tribunal is final and binding on the parties to the dispute.
- Water disputes presented before the Tribunal established under this Act do not come under the jurisdiction of either the Supreme Court or any other court.
Source – The Hindu