Resolve Krishna water dispute amicably: SC to Andhra Pradesh, Telangana govts
- CJI NV Ramana clarified that he would not adjudicate the legal issues involved in the matter but if the states were forthcoming on settling the dispute through talks, the bench could assist the mediation process
The Supreme Court on Monday advised Andhra Pradesh and Telangana to amicably resolve the dispute on sharing the Krishna river water for drinking and irrigation, “without the involvement of any third party”.
Heading the bench, Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana, who was born in the undivided state of Andhra Pradesh, clarified that he would not adjudicate the legal issues involved in the matter but if the states were forthcoming on settling the dispute through talks, the bench could assist the mediation process. “I belong to both the states. I don’t want to hear this matter legally. But if the matter can be settled in mediation, please do that. Otherwise, we will have to send this matter to another bench,” the CJI told senior counsel Dushyant Dave, who appeared for the Andhra Pradesh government, which has filed the petition alleging Telangana government was depriving its people of legitimate share of Krishna water.
Dave, on his part, commended the CJI’s views, adding he would have to speak to the competent authorities in the Andhra Pradesh government.
Appearing for Telangana, senior advocate CS Vaidyanathan said the Centre has intervened and there was nothing left for the court to adjudicate. Justice Ramana then asked both the lawyers to persuade their client to iron out the issues amicably. “I can only wish for both of you to convince your governments to resolve it without the involvement of any third party,” the CJI said while fixing the matter on Wednesday.
The Andhra government, in its petition, has complained that Telangana was refusing to follow decisions taken in the apex council constituted under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, directions of the Krishna River Management Board and those of the Centre.
“More significantly, the state of Telangana is clearly in violation of a binding award, popularly known as ‘Bachwat award’ made on May 31, 1976, and express provisions of the 2014 Act whereby the state of Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated into Telangana and Andhra Pradesh,” stated the petition.
The petition urged the SC to direct the Centre to take control of the common reservoirs of Srisailam, Nagarjunasagar, and also Pulichintala and operate the same as per the binding award and regulations.