SC orders amicably resolving Krishna water dispute
The Supreme Court on Monday advised states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to amicably resolve their dispute on sharing the Krishna river water for drinking and irrigation.
Heading the bench, Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana, who was born in the undivided state of Andhra Pradesh, clarified that he would not adjudicate the legal issues involved in the matter but if the states were forthcoming on settling the dispute through talks, the bench could assist the mediation process.
"I belong to both the states. I don't want to hear this matter legally. But if the matter can be settled in mediation, please do that. Otherwise, we will have to send this matter to another bench," the CJI told senior counsel Dushyant Dave, who appeared for the AP government, which has filed the petition alleging Telangana government was depriving its people of legitimate share of Krishna water.
Dave, on his part, commended the CJI's views, adding he would have to speak to the competent authorities in the AP government since it was a political matter. Dave also referred to the recent clashes between Assam and Mizoram at the latter's border and said any other state in the country should not witness the same situation where people are pitted against people.
Appearing for Telangana, senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan submitted before the bench, which also included justice Surya Kant, that the Central government has intervened and there was nothing left for the court to adjudicate.
Responding, justice Ramana asked both the lawyers to persuade their client to iron out the issues amicably. "I can only wish for both of you to convince your governments to resolve it without the involvement of any third party," the CJI told Dave and Vaidyanathan while fixing the matter on Wednesday.
The AP government, in its petition, has complained that Telangana was refusing to follow decisions taken in the apex council constituted under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, directions of the Krishna River Management Board and those of the Government of India.
"More significantly, the state of Telangana is clearly in violation of a binding award, popularly known as 'Bachwat award' made on May 31, 1976, and express provisions of the 2014 Act whereby the state of Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated into Telangana and Andhra Pradesh," stated the petition.
It added that the Telangana government's notification of June 28 under which the state has decided to generate hydel power up to 100% installed capacity has caused immense hardship for people of the AP as availability of water has been serious prejudiced by depletion in Srisailam Dam project as well as other projects such as the Nagarjuna Sagar Project and the Pulichintala Project.
"Fundamental rights, including right to life of its citizens, are being seriously impaired and infringed on account of unconstitutional, illegal and unjust acts on part of Telangana and its officials, resulting in the citizens of Andhra Pradesh being deprived of their legitimate share of water for drinking and irrigation purposes," stated the petition.
The petition urged the top court to direct the Centre to take control of the common reservoirs of Srisailam, Nagarjunasagar, and also Pulichintala along with all their outlets and operate the same as per the binding award and regulations, besides declaring Telangana's June 28 notification as illegal, arbitrary and unjust.