Krishna Water Dispute – UPSC GS1

Krishna River
  • The Krishna River is the second biggest river in peninsular India after Godavari River.
  • It originates near Mahabaleshwar (Satara) in Maharashtra.
  • It then runs from four states Maharashtra (303 km), North Karnataka (480 km) and the rest of its 1300 km journey in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh before it empties into the Bay of Bengal.
Timeline of Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT):
  • KWDT in 1969:
    • In 1969, the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) was set up under the Inter-State River Water Dispute Act, 1956, and presented its report in 1973.
    • The report divided the 2060 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) of Krishna water at 75 per cent dependability into three parts:
      • 560 TMC for Maharashtra,
      • 700 TMC for Karnataka and
      • 800 TMC for Andhra Pradesh.
  • KWDT in 2004: 
    • As new grievances arose between the states, the second KWDT was instituted in 2004.
    • It delivered its report in 2010 and made allocations of the Krishna water at 65 per cent dependability and for surplus flows as follows:
      • 81 TMC for Maharashtra,
      • 177 TMC for Karnataka, and
      • 190 TMC for Andhra Pradesh.
    • Andhra Pradesh challenged it through a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court in 2011.
  • Extension of KWDT:
    • In 2014, Andhra Pradesh got bifurcated to form Telangana.
    • Andhra Pradesh has since asked that Telangana be included as a separate party at the KWDT and that the allocation of Krishna waters be reworked among four states, instead of three.
    • After the creation of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh in 2014, the Water Resources Ministry has been extending the duration of the KWDT.
  • Maharashtra and Karnataka Response: Maharashtra and Karnataka are now resisting this move. They argued that Telangana was created following bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. Therefore, allocation of water should be from Andhra Pradesh’s share which was approved by the tribunal.

SC View:
The Supreme Court asked if the States of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka could amicably settle their quarrel over the allocation of the Krishna river water.

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