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Andhra Pradesh Refuses Mediation With Telangana On Krishna River Dispute; CJI Recuses From Hearing

Srishti Ojha
4 Aug 2021 6:33 AM GMT
Andhra Pradesh Refuses Mediation With Telangana On  Krishna River Dispute; CJI Recuses From Hearing
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The State of Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday informed Supreme Court that it wants adjudication of its writ petition filed against the State of Telangana over a dispute regarding sharing of Krishna river water. The State has refused to settle the dispute through mediation with the neighboring state of Telangana as was suggested by the Top Court earlier. The Supreme Court had on Monday asked...

The State of Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday informed Supreme Court that it wants adjudication of its writ petition filed against the State of Telangana over a dispute regarding sharing of Krishna river water.

The State has refused to settle the dispute through mediation with the neighboring state of Telangana as was suggested by the Top Court earlier. The Supreme Court had on Monday asked the States of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to settle amicably, their dispute over sharing of Krishna river water.

During the hearing today, Advocate G Umapathy appearing for the State of Andhra Pradesh submitted that pursuant to the Apex Court's observation regarding mediation, the State has taken the view that matter requires adjudication.

CJI Ramana directed the matter to be listed before another Bench saying that "We aren't compelling you, we don't force you, if you don't want mediation it is for you, we can't say anything. Let the matter be listed before another Bench."

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that the Union Government has no objection to the CJI hearing the case. CJI Ramana however proceeded to say that he does not want to hear the matter.

"They don't want mediation, and I don't want to hear the matter. " CJI said.

CJI Ramana had on Monday stated that he belongs to both the states and therefore does not want to adjudicate upon the matter legally.

"I don't want to hear this matter legally. I belong to both the states. If the matter can be settled in mediation, please do that. We can help with that. Otherwise I will transfer this to another Bench," the CJI had said.

After the Supreme Court had suggested both States to resolve the matter through mediation, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the State of Andhra Pradesh, had sought time to seek instructions in the matter. Accordingly, the matter was kept for hearing on Wednesday.

The present petition arose out of the allegation against the State of Telangana of indiscriminately drawing water for power uses contrary to the rules of the integrated operation of the Reservoirs and the provisions of the 2015 Agreement.

It sought a direction to the Union of India to notify the Krishna River Management Board's (KRMB) jurisdiction under Section 87 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. It also sought directions to KRMB to comply with the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT-I) decision until their jurisdiction is notified.

The said decision by KWDT rendered under Section 5(2) and 5(3) of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956 (Act, 1956) granted liberty to the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh to utilize the surplus flows over and above 75% dependable flows but without any right over such use. The allocation made to the erstwhile State of AP was 800 TMC, and the return flows, totaling 811 TMC.

This decision was maintained in the 2004 decision of Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal II (KWDT-II). After the bifurcation of the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh in 2014 into the States of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, it was agreed between the two states that the 811 TMC allocation made by the KWDT-I would be apportioned in a manner wherein the State of Telangana will have 299 TMC while the State of Andhra Pradesh will get 512 TMC. This agreement (2015 Agreement) was entered before and is monitored by KRMB.

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