SC to decide on reopening Krishna water dispute

SC to decide on reopening Krishna water dispute

Fresh verdict sought after formation of Telangana

SC to decide on reopening Krishna water dispute
The Supreme Court on Tuesday said though the Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal II would function as per reference, several issues needed to be adjudicated if the current dispute was confined to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana or encompassed Maharashtra and Karnataka as well.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant asked the Union government to fill the vacancy of a member in the tribunal within one week, after Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Tushar Mehta informed the court Chief Justice of India Justice H L Dattu has nominated Justice Ram Mohan Reddy, a sitting Karnataka HC judge, as a member.

During the brief hearing, the court said: “First we should adjudicate if we can reopen the issue or if the matter is confined to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Water is a resource. If it will be divided on the basis of projects or there must be some fresh allocation to Andhra Pradesh following formation of Telangana, that is to be debated.”

Senior advocate Anil Divan, appearing for Karnataka, maintained that the dispute at the moment was between only Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Senior advocate Ashok Ganguly, appearing for Andhra Pradesh, said there should be fresh allocation because of formation of Telangana.

Senior advocate T R Andhiarujina, representing Maharashtra, submitted that allocation has already been decided by the tribunal.

Meanwhile, the ASG told the bench the tribunal member's appointment would done in a week after due consultation. The court fixed the matter for further consideration on September 29.

According to the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal II award delivered in December 2010, Andhra Pradesh was entitled to get 1,001 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) of water, Karnataka 907 tmcft and Maharashtra 666 tmcft.

Fresh allocation
Telangana, however, contended that there should be fresh allocation of the disputed waters of the Krishna river in view of Andhra Pradesh's bifurcation.

It sought a direction to the Centre to notify the setting up of a fresh tribunal under the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act of 1956 to decide the issue the sharing of the river water among the four neighbouring states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
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