Krishna River Water Dispute


    In News

    Recently, the A.P. govt. moved to the Supreme Court against Telangana for Krishna River water.


    • Andhra Pradesh accused Telangana of refusing to follow decisions taken on river water management in the Apex Council.
    • It has also ignored the directions of the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) constituted under the 2014 Act and directions of the Central government.

    History to Present

    • Set up of Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal: 
      • In 1969, KWDT was set up under the Inter-State River Water Dispute Act, 1956, 
      • It was headed by Justice R.S. Bachawat
      • It was constituted in April 1969 for adjudication of inter-state water dispute regarding the sharing of Krishna waters.
      • It presented its report in 1973 which was published in 1976.
      • It 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. 
      • At the same time, it was stipulated that the KWDT order may be reviewed or revised by a competent authority or tribunal any time after May 31, 2000.
      • The KWDT addressed three issues:
        • the extent to which the existing uses should be protected as opposed to future or contemplated uses;
        • diversion of water to another watershed; and
        • rules governing the preferential uses of water. The tribunal relied on the principle of equitable apportionment for allocation of water.
    • New Grievances and KWDT 2 set up: 
      • Afterward, as new grievances arose between the states, the second KWDT was instituted in 2004. 
      • It delivered its report in 2010, which 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.
      • In 2010, Andhra Pradesh challenged the order in the Supreme Court through a Special Leave Petition (SLP).
    • Another Report by KWDT:
      • In 2013, the KWDT issued a ‘further report’, which was again challenged by Andhra Pradesh in the Supreme Court in 2014. 
    • Changed Allocation: 
      • After the bifurcation of the erstwhile State of Andhra Pradesh in 2014 into the States of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, arrangements were changed.
      • 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.
    • Krishna River Management Board:
      • In exercise of the powers conferred under section 85 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, the Central Government constituted KRMB for 
        • the administration, 
        • regulation, 
        • maintenance and 
        • operation of such projects, 

    as may be notified by the Central Government from time to time.

    • Present: 
      • The present petition arises 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. 

    (Image Courtesy : Nwa)

    Apex Council

    • Section 84(1) of the ANDHRA PRADESH REORGANISATION ACT, the Central Government shall, on and from the appointed day, constitute an Apex Council for the supervision of the functioning of the Krishna River Management Board.
    • The Apex Council shall consist of-
      • Minister of Water Resources, Government of India-Chairperson;
      • Chief Minister of State of Andhra Pradesh-Member;
      • Chief Minister of State of Telangana-Member.

    Latest development which stirred this dispute

    • Telangana government ordered in late June 2021 notifying to generate hydel power up to 100% installed capacity.
    • The order directed the Telangana State Power Generation Corporation Limited (TSGENCO) to hence generate the hydel power up to 100% installed capacity in the State.
    • This resulted in the citizens of Andhra Pradesh being deprived of their legitimate share of water for drinking and irrigation purposes
    • The Ministry of Jal Shakti in communication with the Director (Hydel), TSGENCO, had urged the latter to stop further release of water immediately through Srisailam Left Power House and follow the water release orders issued by the KRMB, except in case of extreme grid urgency. But this was not proved of any use.

    (Image Courtesy : TOI)


    • The Centre has not notified the exact jurisdiction of KRMB.
    • Time limit should be fixed for adjudication by a Tribunal.
    • Upper age limit for chairman of KRMB must be fixed to favor an independent working mechanism of the Board.
    • Orders of the Tribunal should be made binding and stringent punishment should be there for Contempt.
    • Powers of the Disputes Resolution Commission should be clearly defined

    Way Ahead

    • The Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) issued a gazette notification defining the jurisdiction of the Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) and the Godavari River Management Board (GRMB). 
    • The notification will come into effect from October 14. This could be seen in the light of overcoming challenges.
    • Also, the table given below should be followed, as recommended, for clear demarcation of power of each state. 

    (Image Courtesy : TOI)


    Krishna River

    • The Krishna is an east-flowing river.
    • Originates at Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra and merges with the Bay of Bengal 
    • Flows through Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. 
    • Together with its tributaries, it forms a vast basin that covers 33% of the total area of the four states.
    • The principal tributaries joining Krishna are the Ghataprabha, the Malaprabha, the Bhima, the Tungabhadra and the Musi. 
    • Most of this basin comprises rolling and undulating country, except for the western border, which is formed by an unbroken line of the Western Ghats. 
    • The important soil types found in the basin are black soils, red soils, laterite and lateritic soils, alluvium, mixed soils, red and black soils and saline and alkaline soils

    Source: TH