PNS | Hyderabad
With the Centre deciding to refer the Krishna River water-sharing dispute between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to the existing Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-II, the BRS government has termed it as a victory for Telangana.
Finance Minister T. Harish Rao said the Union Government woke up from its deep slumber after nine years to take a decision as per Telangana’s demand. Addressing a metting in Wanaparthy district, he said that the decision of the Union Cabinet to approve the issue of the Terms of Reference to the existing Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-II under Section 5(1) of the Inter-State River Water Disputes Act, 1956, for adjudication will lead to Telangana getting its share of Krishna waters.
He hoped that this would benefit the undivided Mahbubnagar district which was deprived of its just share of water despite the fact that the district has the largest catchment area of the Krishna.
A project-wise allocation of water will be made by the tribunal. All projects including the Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation and Kalwakurthy will be allocated water, he said. Harish also slammed the Modi government for the long delay in referring the dispute to the tribunal. As per law, the Centre should constitute the tribunal within a year of the demand from a state government.
He said Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao wrote many letters to the Centre and met the Prime Minister and the Water Resources Minister several times. He said the state government had to approach the Supreme Court. As the Centre promised to constitute the tribunal but wanted the state to withdraw the case, the state government believed the Centre and withdrew the case but no decision was taken.
Recalling that Telangana was achieved to get its due share of river water, Harish termed the Centre’s decision a victory of KCR and the people of Telangana. The Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-II was constituted by the Centre in 2004 as per the requests made by the party states under Section 3 of the ISRWD Act.
Subsequently, Telangana came into existence in 2014. As per Section 89 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014, the tenure of the KWDT-II was extended to address clauses (a) and (b) of the said section of APRA, 2014.
Inaugurating the Palamuru Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PRLIS) last month, KCR had slammed Prime Minister Modi for not deciding the state’s share in Krishna waters. He had asked people to question BJP leaders why their government was unable to decide Telangana’s share of Krishna waters.
He had said that if BJP leaders from undivided Mahabubnagar district have any sense of shame they should go to Delhi and ask the Prime Minister to decide Telangana’s share. The Chief Minister recalled that the state government had gone to the Supreme Court for determination of its share of Krishna water but the Centre asked it to withdraw the case promising to refer the matter to the tribunal. “A year has passed since the Centre made the suggestion but nothing has happened,” he had said.
Meanwhile, Union Minister G. Kishan Reddy thanked the Prime Minister for the Cabinet decision.
“This decision not only gives a reassurance to the people of Telangana that the Centre is committed to the development of Telangana but also shows that the BJP always has the interests of the people of Telangana at heart,” he posted on X.