The Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal on Thursday divided the surplus water of river Krishna, allocating the maximum share for Andhra Pradesh and enhancing the shares of Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Andhra Pradesh will get 1,001 thousand million cubic feet (TMC), Karnataka 911 TMC and Maharashtra 666 TMC water from the river.
The tribunal, headed by Justice Brijesh Kumar, also allowed more water to be stored in Almati Dam in Karnataka. Now 524 metres of the dam height can be used to store Krishna water, up from the earlier 519 metres.
The Centre will set up the Krishna Water Implementation Board after three months for implementation of the award.
“The states that want to file a review or seek explanation on the award can do so within the next three months,” Justice Kumar said.
The award will be valid by May 31, 2050. Since the tribunal has the force and decree of the Supreme Court, no appeal against the award can be filed in any other court except the tribunal itself.
The Karnataka government reacted positively, saying the verdict had vindicated its position on Almati dam height.
"It is a great day and historic day for Karnataka. Under A and B schemes the state has been allocated 911 TMC of water. The government will do its best to utilise the water," chief minister BS Yeddyurappa said.
In Andhra, however, Opposition parties termed the verdict a “big blow” to the state that had “lost total right over utilisation” of surplus water.
Telugu Desam Party politburo member K Yerran Naidu called it a “death blow” to the state.
Maharashtra water resources minister Ramrajya Nimbalkar said, “...No decision can give you 100% of what you want.” CM Prithviraj Chavan expressed disappointment at the decision to allow raising the height of the Almati dam, saying it could cause floods.
(With inputs from Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai)