K'taka defends new Krishna projects


Appearing for Karnataka before the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal here, senior counsel Anil Divan said Karnataka has considered Singatlur, Upper Tunga and Upper Bhadra for the utilisation of 18.55 tmc [thousand million cubic feet], 12.24 tmc and 23 tmc, respectively, in the basin.

He said they are planned against the savings proposed in various existing projects in Tungabhadra sub-basin in Karnataka.  Divan showed the map of Tungabhadra sub-basin and indicated to the Tribunal Judges that the Tungabhadra sub-basin receives flows from Vedavathy sub-basin. The unutilised flows from Tungabhadra sub-basin further flow down into Lower Krishna Sub-basin in AP.

The counsel then submitted that the yield estimation of Tungabhadra sub-basin made by  B P Venkateswarlu, AP witness, suffered from two errors. The AP witness estimated the water available in the lower part of Tungabhadra sub-basin - below Bhavapuram gauge station - by taking the average of lower Krishna sub-basin instead of the contiguous part.  Also, he ignored the flows coming from Vedavathy sub-basin. 

Divan drew the attention of the Tribunal to the cardinal principles involved in the apportionment of water before the first Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal 1969-1976 which, he  said, rightly proceeded on the basis that the States under the Union of India were Constitutional entities with independent responsibilities to undertake the development. “Keeping this principle in mind, the first Tribunal had made en bloc allocations and not project-wise allocations, so that, the riparian States would have flexibility in reallocations within their share of water”.  

The second Krishna Tribunal headed by Justice Brijesh Kumar was constituted on 2nd April 2004 to adjudicate water disputes in respect of inter-State river Krishna and its valley between the States of Maharashtra, Karnataka and AP. Karnataka has prayed for Scheme-B allocating surplus water.  Maharashtra wants  50% dependability while AP sought revision of Scheme-A allocation made by the first Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal.

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