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Water wars of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    14th Jul, 2021

An ongoing jalajagadam (fight over water resources), once again drew the police forces of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana into a tense standoff at the common reservoirs of the two states.

Context

An ongoing jalajagadam (fight over water resources), once again drew the police forces of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana into a tense standoff at the common reservoirs of the two states.

About

About the water dispute between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

  • There are disagreements over the sharing of the Krishna river water between the two states.
  • Andhra Pradesh concern: Andhra Pradesh alleges that Telangana has been drawing Krishna water from four projects — Jurala, Srisailam, NagarjunaSagar, and Pulichintala — for hydropower generation without approvals from the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB).
  • KRMB is an autonomous body that was set up after the bifurcation of the state, to manage and regulate the waters in the Krishna basin.
  • It is also accused that the water is used for power generation is being wasted by releasing it into the Bay of Bengal.
  • Telangana’s concern: It has opposed the irrigation projects of the Andhra Pradesh government, especially the Rayalaseema Lift Irrigation Project (RLIP), which it claims is illegal.

Distribution of water between the two states

  • The two states agreed to split the water share 66:34 on an ad hoc basis until the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-2 decided the final allocation.
  • Telangana has called for a 50:50 allocation of water from the Krishna River.

How the river water disputes are resolved?

  • In the case of Telangana, the 3 member dispute resolution committee could not arrive at any decision.
  • Telangana wants the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-2 to permanently settle the water dispute; in the meantime.
  • The Interstate River Water Disputes Act, 1956 (IRWD Act) is an act under Article 262 of the Constitution.
  • Under the Act, a state government may request the central government to refer an inter-state river dispute to a Tribunal for adjudication.
  • The Tribunal will consist of a Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, three judicial members, and three expert members.  They will be appointed by the central government on the recommendation of a Selection Committee.
  • The Tribunal must give its decision within three years, which may be extended by two years. 
  • Under the Act, if the matter is again referred to the Tribunal by a state for further consideration, the Tribunal must submit its report to the central government within one year. 
  • This decision has the same force as that of an order of the Supreme Court. 

KRISHNA WATER DISPUTES TRIBUNAL-II

  • In 2004, the Central Government has constituted Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) for adjudicating a dispute between the States of Maharashtra, Karnataka, and erstwhile Andhra Pradesh under Section 4 of the Inter-State River Water Dispute (ISRWD) Act, 1956.
  • The Tribunal has given its report and decision in 2010. 
  • Tribunal is currently hearing the disputes on matters related to the newly created State of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
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