KRISHNA WATER DISPUTE (Syllabus: GS Paper 2 – Polity)

News-CRUX-10     5th October 2023        

Context: Recently, the Union Cabinet, led by the Prime Minister of India, granted approval for the issuance of additional Terms of Reference (ToR) to the existing Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-II of the ISRWD Act to address disputes between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Inter-State River Water Disputes (ISRWD) Act, 1956

  • About: The IWRD Act, 1956's objective is to address water disputes related to the utilization, control, and allocation of interstate rivers or river valleys.
  • Article 262 of the Indian Constitution: It  grants a role to the Central government in settling conflicts over inter-state rivers that may arise between state or regional governments.
  • Applicability to UTs: The IWRD Act, 1956 applies exclusively to Indian states and does not extend to union territories.
  • Participation in Tribunal Adjudication: Only the concerned state governments have the right to participate in tribunal adjudication, and non-government entities are not allowed to take part in the process.

Krishna Water Dispute

  • Geographic Route: The 1,400-km long Krishna River originates in Mahabaleshwar, Maharashtra, and flows eastward, ultimately emptying into the Bay of Bengal. 
  • Background Dispute: The origins of the Telangana-Andhra Pradesh water dispute can be traced back to the reorganization of states in India in 1956 when Andhra Pradesh was formed.
  • Bachawat Tribunal's Involvement: This tribunal allocated 811 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) of water to Andhra Pradesh when it was a unified state.
  • Water Allocation: The Tribunal recommended a specific allocation, suggesting that the Krishna River water should be shared in the ratio of 512 tmcft for Andhra Pradesh and 299 tmcft for Telangana.
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