Thursday, November 30, 2023

Three cheers for Telangana

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PNS | Hyderabad

The Union Cabinet has approved three major demands of Telangana which have been pending for a long time. The Krishna River water-sharing issue between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will be referred to a tribunal.

The Cabinet also approved an amendment to the Central Universities Act, 2009, for setting up the Sammakka Sarakka Central Tribal University in Telangana. The Centre also notified the establishment of the National Turmeric Board.

The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Modi approved the issue of an additional Terms of Reference (ToR) to the existing Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-II (KWDT-II) under Section 5(1) of the ISRWD Act for adjudication between the States of Telangana and AP.

This is based on legal opinion and in the light thereof on the issues raised by the Government of Telangana (GoT) in their complaint under Section (3) of the Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956.

The resolution of the dispute between the two States on the use, distribution or control of Krishna River waters will open new avenues of growth in both Telangana and AP. The Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-II was constituted by the Centre on 02.04.2004 as per requests made by the party States under Section 3 of the ISRWD Act, 1956.

Subsequently, on 02.06.2014, Telangana came into existence. As per Section 89 of the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act (APRA), 2014, the tenure of the KWDT-II was extended to address the clauses (a) and (b) of the said section of APRA, 2014.

Subsequently, the Government of Telangana (GoT) forwarded a complaint on 14.07.2014 to the Union Department of Water Resources, River Development & Ganga Rejuvenation (DoWR, RD & GR), Ministry of Jal Shakti (MoJS) referring to the dispute on the use, distribution or control of Krishna river waters.

A writ petition was also filed on the matter by GoT in the Supreme Court (SC) in 2015. In 2018, the GoT requested the DoWR, RD & GR, MoJS, to refer the complaint to the existing KWDT-II by confining the scope of reference between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh only.
The matter was later discussed in the 2nd Apex Council meeting in 2020 held under the Minister of Jal Shakti. As discussed during the 2nd Apex Council meeting, GoT withdrew the writ petition in 2021 and subsequently legal opinion of the Union Ministry of Law & Justice was sought by DoWR, RD&GR in the matter.

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