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The Telangana-A.P. water dispute

This article explores the ongoing Krishna river water dispute between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, discussing its origins, allocation issues, water sharing arrangements, and the role of the Centre. The Telangana-A.P. water dispute remains unresolved, requiring proactive steps for a fair and cooperative solution.

What is the context?

Recently the  Telangana-A.P. water dispute regarding the allocation of Krishna river water is in news. Here we will discuss the historical origins of the dispute, the allocation after the Bachawat Tribunal, the water sharing arrangement after bifurcation, the claims of each state, and the role of the Centre.

The Origin of the Krishna Water Dispute:
  • Formation of Andhra Pradesh in 1956, where a Gentlemen’s Agreement aimed to protect Telangana’s interests in water resource utilization.
  • Irrigation focus on Andhra neglected Telangana, leading to discontent and unequal distribution.
Allocation after the Bachawat Tribunal (KWDT-I):
  • The Bachawat Tribunal allocated 811 tmcft dependable water to Andhra Pradesh.
  • Andhra Pradesh divided it in a 512:299 tmcft ratio between Andhra and Telangana, respectively.
  • Non-implementation of Tungabhadra Dam water diversion caused dissatisfaction in Telangana.
Water Sharing Arrangement after Bifurcation:
  • Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, didn’t specify water shares.
  • An ad hoc arrangement set a 34:66 (Telangana:A.P.) ratio, subject to yearly review.
  • Telangana demanded equal share, leading to opposition and referral to the Ministry of Jal Shakti.
Claims of Each State:
  • Telangana asserts a 70% share based on global river water sharing treaties and basin parameters.
  • Andhra Pradesh seeks a higher share to protect existing command areas.
Centre’s Role:
  • The Centre convened two Apex Council meetings without effectively addressing the issue.
  • Telangana withdrew its Supreme Court petition based on the Ministry’s promise to refer the matter to a Tribunal.
  • However, the Centre has delayed action for over two years, exacerbating the ongoing dispute.
Conclusion and Way Forward:

The Telangana-Andhra Pradesh water dispute remains unresolved, hindering equitable water resource allocation. The Centre must take proactive steps to address the issue, considering the interests of both states and promoting cooperation for a lasting solution.

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