An all-party delegation led by Kiran submits memorandum to the Prime Minister

A delegation of all political parties led by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking Central intervention on the concerns of the State over the award of the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal on the Krishna river waters dispute. A statement by the Chief Minister’s Office quoted Dr. Singh as telling the delegation that he had ordered for a detailed study on the objections of the State.

“Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-I distributed the waters of river Krishna at 75% dependability, whereas the Justice Brijesh Kumar Tribunal (KWDT-II) distributed waters of river Krishna up to average flows, at different dependability i.e.75%, 65% and average, notwithstanding the national norm of 75% dependability and the recommendations of the Second Irrigation Commission, 1972 that the farmers should be assured of getting water in 3 out of 4 years,” the memorandum said.

The delegation told the PM that the Centre should implead in the Supreme Court case in support of A.P.

Huge investments had already been made in the irrigation sector to develop the projects based on the surplus waters of river Krishna and serving the drought and fluoride-affected areas in Telangana and Rayalaseema regions of the State. These investments would go waste, the memorandum said.

It contended that the adoption of different dependability by the tribunal would result in three sets of projects, one at 75 per cent dependability, other at 65 per cent dependability and third at average and operation of all the three sets of projects would become a near-impossible task for any State government.

Dependability factor

The dependability factor was vital for the entire planning and investment of irrigation projects to sustain farmers’ livelihood. The Brijesh Kumar Tribunal by lowering the dependability from 75 per cent to 65 per cent showed that more water was available for distribution. But this more water was nothing but surplus water whose availability was highly variable and less dependable, the memorandum said. The memorandum also pointed out that though the Inter State River Water disputes Act, 1956 did not permit reopening of any dispute settled by tribunals, KWDT-II reopened several issues including 75 per cent dependability.

It further said that KWDT-I gave the lower riparian State liberty to use all surplus waters over and above 2130 tmcft in a water year. The latest verdict curtailed the State’s liberty to use surplus waters and redistributed them, by giving only 44 tmcft to Andhra Pradesh out of 298 tmcft.

PTI adds: TDP MLA Chandrasekhar Reddy said the delegation represented the ‘injustice’ done to the state through the tribunal award.“We wanted the Union Government to intervene at this stage and conduct an indepth study,” he added.