Stalemate Over Sharing Of Krishna Water
The dispute over the distribution of water from the Krishna River between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh following their separation appears to have no end in sight, and it is expected to persist throughout the upcoming water year, which starts on June 1.
About River Krishna:
- The river Krishna is referred to in the Puranas as river Krsnavena and in the Jataka stories as river Kanhaperna.
- The Krishna River is Peninsular India’s second-largest river, behind the Godavari River.
- The river Krishna has its beginnings in the Western Ghats in the Maharashtra town of Jor, close to Mahabaleshwar and 64 kilometres from the Arabian Sea.
- It begins at the western ghats and runs the length of the peninsula until merging into the Bay of Bengal.
- The total length of the river is 1400 kilometres
- Beginning in Maharashtra, the Krishna River flows through the states of Karnataka, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh before merging into the Bay of Bengal.
- A large portion of the Krishna River Basin—nearly 75% of its basin—is used for agriculture.
- Before joining the Bay of Bengal, the Krishna River creates a sizable delta that has grown to 35 kilometres in length.
- It appears as though the Krishna and Godavari deltas are combining.
Points to Ponder:
- Deadlock: Telangana and Andhra Pradesh’s disagreement over how to divide the water from the Krishna River following their split is projected to last until the upcoming water year, which begins on June 1.
- Taken by Telangana: Telangana has strongly asserted that it will not accept the 34:66 (Telangana: Andhra Pradesh) water-sharing ratio imposed on it since the partition for another year at a recent meeting of the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB).
- Statehood Movement: Telangana emphasised that equitable river water distribution was a key demand throughout the statehood movement, implying that it was a crucial component of their fight for separate statehood.
- Allocations Disagreement: Telangana claims that, based on basin criteria, it is entitled to a 70% share of the 811 tmc ft of water that the merged Andhra Pradesh was allotted by the KWDT-I Award. However, the former Andhra Pradesh partitioned it into Telangana and Andhra Pradesh at a ratio of 512:299 tmc ft without taking into account Telangana’s fluoride and drought-affected districts’ in-basin requirements.
- Officials from Telangana argue that Andhra Pradesh is violating the terms of the KWDT-I Award by diverting about 300 tmc feet of the 512 tmc feet of water that have been allotted to places outside the Krishna Basin. Telangana contends that the KWDT-I Award has been gravely violated by this diversion.
- Priority for In-Basin demands: The KWDT-I had emphasised that, when starting new projects, in-basin demands should take precedence over those of areas beyond the basin. Officials from Telangana contend that Andhra Pradesh violates this concept by diverting water to locations beyond the basin.
- Non-permission to Board Orders: Telangana has made it plain that to maintain the current system, it will not be a party to any orders made by the board without its permission. This demonstrates their resistance to the water-sharing ratio that is in place at the moment.
- Referral to Ministry of Jal Shakti: The chairman of the KRMB has said that the subject will now be submitted to the Ministry of Jal Shakti for additional consideration and decision-making in response to Telangana’s position.