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Water-sharing Dispute: AP moves Supreme Court over Telangana’s rigid stand

The State of Andhra Pradesh has filed a petition before the Supreme Court against Telangana, alleging that the latter has been denying them their legitimate share of water for drinking and irrigation purposes. 

The plea stated that in the Srisailam Dam project, the reservoir’s quantity has seriously depleted on account of use of water from its generation of power in Telangana State. The AP government requested Telangana to stop the same but it was not complied with. 

“This has caused immense hardship for people of State of Andhra Pradesh as availability of water has been seriously prejudiced by depletion in Srisailam Dam project as well as other projects such as the Nagarjuna Sagar Project and the Pulichintala Project,” the plea said. 

The actions of the Telangana government are unconstitutional and in violation of the right to life of people of Andhra Pradesh, it was contended. 
It was further submitted that the State of Telangana is refusing to follow decisions taken in the Apex Council constituted under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganization Act, 2014 and directions of Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) constituted under the 2014 Act and directions of Government of India. 

Section 87, deals with “Jurisdiction of Board” and stipulates that the Board shall ordinarily exercise jurisdiction on “Godavari and Krishna rivers in regard to any of the projects over headworks (barrages, dams, reservoirs, regulating structures), part of canal network and transmission lines necessary to deliver water or power to the States concerned. 

However, under Section 87 (1) the Board can exercise jurisdiction only in respect of such aspects as are notified by the Central Government. But no such notification has been issued till date, it was stated. 

Meanwhile, in view of no progress on notification of the jurisdiction of KRMB, Telangana by its acts of commission is seriously affecting the water supply to Andhra Pradesh for irrigation and other purposes, the petition stated. 

“More significantly, the State of Telangana is clearly in violation of a binding Award, popularly known as “Bachwat Award” made on 31.05.1976 and express provisions of the 2014 Act, whereby State of Andhra Pradesh was bifurcated into Telangana and Andhra Pradesh,” the petition said. 

The plea filed through Advocate Mahfooz A Nazki stated that despite the reorganization having taken place in 2014, and the Apex Council having been created in time, the jurisdiction of KRMB Board which was to be declared under Section 87 thereof 2014 Act, has not been notified as yet and this is “resulting in illegal acts on part of State of Telangana and its Authorities, creating serious Constitutional issues.”

The petition has primarily sought the following: 

- Direct Telangana government to notify jurisdiction as per the 2014 act 
- Strike down the June 28, 2021, order passed by Telangana government as unjust and illegal 
- Have Andhra Pradesh take control of the common Reservoirs of Srisailam, Nagarjunasagar and also Pulichintala Reservoir along with all their outlets 

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