BJP, JD(S) ask govt to contest Krishna tribunal award in SC

The Opposition JD(S) and BJP on Wednesday suggested that the State government contest Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal (KWDT)-2 award in the Supreme Court.

The suggestion came at a meeting convened by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with floor leaders of both Houses of the State Legislature in Bangalore on Wednesday to discuss KWDT-2.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting that went on for nearly three hours, Siddaramaiah said the State government will finalise its stand after discussing with the State’s legal team headed by senior counsel Fali Nariman. Siddaramaiah and ministers H K Patil, M B Patil and S R Patil will be meeting Nariman in New Delhi on Thursday.

“We will ensure that the State’s interest is protected and the State gets its due share of Krishna water,” Siddaramaiah said. The Tribunal had recently allowed the State to increase the height of the Almatti dam to 524 metres, thereby allowing it to utilise 130 tmc ft of additional water. 

Andhra Pradesh has already moved Supreme Court seeking an interim stay on the award. Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy said he had specified 12 grounds for contesting the order of the tribunal. 

He stated that even though Karnataka has the highest drought-prone area and basin  culturable area, less water has been allocated to it. The total allocation made to Karnataka is 907 tmc ft, which is 35.18 per cent of the total yield of 2,578 tmc ft.

He stated that the condition that Karnataka can start using the 65 per cent dependable yield only after Andhra Pradesh has used its share of 811 tmc (at 75 pc dependability) is harsh on the State.

BJP floor leader in the Assembly Jagadish Shettar said his party has suggested that the State government immediately file a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the tribunal award. 

The condition that the State has to release 8 to 10 tmc ft to Andhra Pradesh from the Almatti reservoir in June and July could cause injustice to the State, he said.

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