‘I belong to both states’: CJI refuses to take up water sharing dispute between Andhra, Telangana
NV Ramana asked the two states to consider settling the matter through mediation, or it could be transferred to another bench.
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to consider an amicable settlement of the dispute on sharing the water of the Krishna river, reported Live Law.
“I don’t want to hear this matter legally,” Chief Justice of India NV Ramana said. “I belong to both the states. If the matter can be settled in mediation, please do that. We can help with that. Otherwise, I will transfer this to another Bench.”
The Andhra Pradesh government has accused Telangana of indiscriminately taking water from the Krishna river for the state’s requirements related to power, drinking water and irrigation. This was in violation of an agreement made in 2015, a year after Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh.
The main point of dispute is the Srisailam dam, which is on the border of the two states, according to NDTV.
The petition of the Andhra Pradesh government has alleged that Telangana has been denying the state its legitimate share of water for drinking and irrigation purposes.
Andhra Pradesh on Monday told the Supreme Court that the water sharing dispute is a political matter, and the state government will take a decision on mediation. To this, Ramana said that the court does not want to interfere in the matter unnecessarily.
“I wish that both of you [the lawyers] convince your governments and settle the matter,” he said, according to Live Law.
The Andhra Pradesh government also claimed that Telangana has refused to follow decisions taken in a council, constituted under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014. Andhra Pradesh alleged that Telangana had not followed directions of the Krishna River Management Board and those of the central government, the Hindustan Times reported.
Andhra Pradesh has objected to the Telangana government’s June 28 notification, according to which the state has decided to generate hydel power up to 100% installed capacity. The Andhra Pradesh government also claimed that its supplies has been badly affected by the depletion of water due to projects, including Srisailam, Nagarjuna Sagar, and Pulichintala.
The Telangana government argued on Monday that the Centre has intervened in the matter and that there was nothing left for the court to decide.
In the past, Telangana has said that it needs the hydel energy to power its Nettempadu, Bheema, Koilsagar and Kalwakurthy lift irrigation projects, according to The Print.
In 2015, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana agreed to split water from the Krishna river on a temporary or ad hoc basis.
The agreement between the two states says that the water from the Krishna river has to be shared in a 34:66 ratio, or 299 thousand million cubic feet for Telangana and 512 thousand million cubic feet for Andhra Pradesh