TS wintess before KWDT-II justifies need for new deficit sharing mechanism

System mentioned in KWDT-I Award can’t be applied for all projects, he says

September 30, 2022 12:25 am | Updated 12:25 am IST - HYDERABAD

The witness appearing for Telangana before the Brijesh Kumar Tribunal, Chetan Pandit, has brought to the notice of the Tribunal that that an acute geographical imbalance in utilisation of water was an important reason for seeking a separate Telangana State and the reason behind seeking judicious share to it.

During his cross-examination by senior advocate appearing for Andhra Pradesh R. Venkataramani, for the second day on Thursday, Mr. Pandit said in his attempt to suggest an operational protocol for deficit years he was addressing a scenario which has not been experienced earlier, wherein a very large part of water resource (almost 40%), allocation of Krishna water to combined Andhra Pradesh, is already diverted outside the basin and now the combined AP is divided in two parts.

He explained that he was working a way out to at least partially address the imbalance by suggesting a lower priority to only a part outside the basin use. He reiterated that he does not agree to diversion of water outside the basin when the donor basin itself has water scarcity.

Although the paras from KWDT-I Award referred to by the AP’s counsel were about westward diversion for hydel generation from the perspective of farmers outside the basin, the injury to the farmers within the basin would be the same irrespective of the purpose and direction of diversion, the Telangana witness said.

The Telangana’s witness further explained that the deficit sharing mechanism mentioned in the KWDT-I Award was for Tungabhadra Dam and it is not default deficit water sharing mechanism applicable to all other projects too. The deficit sharing mechanism was for only two States – Karanataka and AP but now Telanagana is in place and the new situation requires new solutions.

“The ratio of shares vis-a-vis availability of water in the two common reservoirs – Srisailam and Nagarjunasagar and the catchment below Nagarjunasagar would not necessarily be the same as in Tungabhadra project,” Mr. Pandit submitted to the Tribunal. Further, he stated that Section 89 (b) of the AP Reorganisation Act says that an operational protocol for the project-wise release of water in the event of deficit flows shall be determined and it does not say that mechanism adopted in Tungabhadra Project shall be applied to all other projects.

Hearing postponed

Meanwhile, due to the appointment of Mr. Venkataramani as the Attorney General of India the cross-examination of Mr. Pandit scheduled on Friday is put-off. The Tribunal has postponed the hearing to November 9.

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