T-State wants tribunal to adjudicate water disputes

Taking its fight on the river water disputes to the next higher level, Government of Telangana has dashed off a letter to the Union Government demanding that a water disputes tribunal should be constituted under Section 4 (1) of the Inter State River Disputes Act.

Strong case

The 18-page letter written by B. Arvinda Reddy, Principal Secretary (Irrigation & CAD), made a strong case for the tribunal by saying that the Telangana Government is of the opinion that water disputes have arisen with the Governments of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharasthra with regard to use distribution or control of water of the Krishna.

He said on formation of the new State of Telangana, it is realised that the interests of the State and its inhabitants have been and are likely to be prejudicially affected.

The letter maintained that since the State of Telangana was not a party before the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-I and II, its concerns and demands were not adequately represented. As a consequence, the State continued to suffer for its requirement of water for various needs. Hence, a need has risen to re-examine the allocation of all the riparian States afresh.

The legislation relating to re-organisation of States in the year 1956 and 2014 had an impact on implementation of various schemes for utilisation of water within the State. A necessity has arisen to adjudicate on the basis of principles of equitable allocation and issue appropriate directions to overcome the legislative hurdles, the Telangana Government argued.

‘Information suppressed’

The communication alleged that since erstwhile Andhra Pradesh suppressed vital information relating to projects under construction, during the pending of proceedings before KWDT-II, for utilisation outside the basin, there was need to re-examine the issue of allocation in the context of precedence of in basin requirements over outside basin diversions.

It felt that an independent and effective authority to be established to ensure implementation of the directive to be formulated by the Tribunal and making the functioning of the Krishna River Management Board established under Section 85 of Act, 6 of 2014, to be subservient to the Krisha Water Decisions – Implementation board (KWD-IB).

The Telangana Government noted that the State of Telangana has come into being as a fourth riparian State on June 2. The struggle for separation was mainly to get the injustice redressed on water related issues. Faced with the situation of report of KWDT-II being notified in near future, which was rendered without participation of the State of Telangana and the tribunal had no occasion to examine the concerns and demand as a separate State, it is felt necessary to seek redressal of disputes without further loss of time, the letter added.

Limited scope

The Government mentioned that since the statutory provisions in the AP Reorganisation Act, 6 of 2014 have very limited scope and are not adequate to address the grievances of Telangana, a necessity to constitute a tribunal for adjudication of disputes had arisen.

It requested that since further report of KWDT-II is not notified yet, this letter of complaint should be referred to the same tribunal for adjudication and decision on the water disputes and related matters.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2022 12:10:03 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/tstate-wants-tribunal-to-adjudicate-water-disputes/article6194030.ece