From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Krishna Basin
Mains level : Krishna water dispute
- The Krishna river dispute took a new turn this week, when Maharashtra and Karnataka agreed to jointly oppose AP’s application seeking a relook at the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal’s 2010 order on water distribution between the riparian states.
The Krishna river dispute
- The Krishna is an east-flowing river that originates at Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra and merges with the Bay of Bengal, flowing through Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and AP.
- Together with its tributaries, it forms a vast basin that covers 33% of the total area of the four states.
- A dispute over the sharing of Krishna waters has been ongoing for many decades, beginning with the erstwhile Hyderabad and Mysore states, and later continuing between successors.
Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal
- In 1969, the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) was set up under the Inter-State River Water Dispute Act, 1956, and presented its report in 1973.
- The report, which was published in 1976, divided the 2060 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of Krishna water at 75 per cent dependability into three parts.
- It was 560 TMC for Maharashtra, 700 TMC for Karnataka and 800 TMC for Andhra Pradesh.
- At the same time, it was stipulated that the KWDT order may be reviewed or revised by a competent authority or tribunal any time after May 31, 2000.
- Afterward, as new grievances arose between the states, the second KWDT was instituted in 2004.
- It delivered its report in 2010, which made allocations of the Krishna water at 65 per cent dependability and for surplus flows as follows: 81 TMC for Maharashtra, 177 TMC for Karnataka, and 190 TMC for Andhra Pradesh.
After the KWDT’s 2010 report
- Soon after the 2010 report was presented, AP challenged it through a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court in 2011.
- In an order in the same year, the apex court stopped the Centre from publishing it in the official Gazette.
- In 2013, the KWDT issued a ‘further report’, which was again challenged by Andhra Pradesh in the Supreme Court in 2014.
- After the creation of Telangana from AP in 2014, the Water Resources Ministry has been extending the duration of the KWDT.
Row over share
- Andhra Pradesh has since asked that Telangana be included as a separate party at the KWDT and that the allocation of Krishna waters be reworked among four states, instead of three.
- Maharashtra and Karnataka are now resisting this move. On September 3, the two states said: Telangana was created following bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.
- Therefore, allocation of water should be from Andhra Pradesh’s share which was approved by the tribunal.
- It is relying on Section 89 of The Andhra Pradesh State Reorganization Act, 2014, which reads:
- The term of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal shall be extended with the following terms of reference, namely:
- shall make project-wise specific allocation, if such allocation has not been made by a Tribunal constituted under the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956;
- shall determine an operational protocol for project-wise release of water in the event of deficit flows.
- For the purposes of this section, it is clarified that the project-specific awards already made by the Tribunal on or before the appointed day shall be binding on the successor States.