Andhra not happy with Krishna waters verdict

Friday, December 31, 2010

HYDERABAD - The Andhra Pradesh government Friday said it was not satisfied with the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal verdict on sharing of surplus water with neighbouring Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Revenue Minister Raghuveera Reddy told reporters that the government would study the full report and consult irrigation experts, engineers and lawyers before taking any decision.

Major Irrigation Minister P. Sudarshan Reddy had Thursday said that the government would file an appeal before the tribunal in three months and seek clarifications.

However, the main opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Friday urged the state government to take an-all party delegation to New Delhi to complain to the central government about the injustice done to the state.

TDP chief and former chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu Friday held a meeting with top leaders to review the tribunal’s order. The party decided to undertake a struggle to protect the state’s interests.

Naidu said the state had suffered due to lack of a comprehensive national river water-sharing policy and the indifferent attitude of the state government.

The Krishna Delta Protection Committee has also urged the state government to take serious note of the tribunal’s order. The committee said the verdict had put a question mark on the second crop in the Krishna delta. The committee asked all MPs from the state to wage a joint struggle against the injustice meted out to the state.

Former minister and the committee member M. Buddhaprasad told reporters in Vijayawada that the region would badly suffer as the tribunal had permitted Karnataka to raise the height of the Almatti dam.

The committee pointed out that the tribunal appeared to have given the maximum share of water to the state but in reality it would spell doom for the irrigation projects in the state. While the earlier tribunal in 1976 had estimated the assured water at 2,060 tmc ft, the new tribunal had estimated it at 2,578 tmc ft.

The tribunal has given Andhra Pradesh a share of 1,001 tmc ft, Karnataka 911 tmc ft and Maharashtra 666 tmc ft.

Andhra Pradesh was earlier allowed to use the entire surplus water but under the new tribunal, it has been distributed among three states, said Buddhaprasad.

He said the tribunal had also done injustice by allowing Karnataka to raise the height of Almatti dam to store the river water to 524.4 metres from the present 519 metres.

The river Krishna originates at Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra and passes through Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka on its 1,300-km journey to the Bay of Bengal.

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