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Krishna River water dispute

  • IAS NEXT, Lucknow
  • 24, Feb 2022
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The Karnataka government has moved the Supreme Court seeking setting up of a bench to hear a plea relating to the dispute over the allocation of water of Krishna river, flowing in states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana.

  • Meanwhile, the Supreme Court had asked if the parties can settle the dispute through

What’s the issue?

A bench comprising Justice D Y Chandrachud, hailing from Maharashtra, and Justice A S Bopanna, who belongs to Karnataka, had on January 10 recused from the case, arising out of the water tribunal’s decision, saying “We do not want to be the target of invectives”.

  • The judges, who recused themselves, were upset with the tone and tenor of mails and letters against them for being part of the bench to decide the water dispute.

Dispute in the court:

  • Karnataka had sought the vacation of a November 16, 2011, order of the Supreme Court that stopped the Centre from publishing in the Official Gazette (under Section 6(1) of the Inter-State Water Disputes Act of 1956) the final order of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal II (KWDT) pronounced in December 2010, allocating the river water to Karnataka, erstwhile Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
  • The publication of the tribunal order is a necessary pre-condition for its implementation.

Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) award:

The dispute began with the erstwhile Hyderabad and Mysore states, and later continuing between successors Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

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:

  1. 560 TMC for Maharashtra.
  2. 700 TMC for Karnataka.
  3. 800 TMC for Andhra Pradesh.

Revised order:

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.

The KWDT had further modified its final order and report on November 29, 2013, to allot surplus water to Karnataka, Maharashtra, and the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh while preserving the allocation of 2,130 TMC already made among them.

Why hasn’t the order been published yet?

After the creation of Telangana as a separate state in 2014, Andhra Pradesh is asking to include Telangana as a separate party at the KWDT and that the allocation of Krishna waters be reworked among four states, instead of three.