Krishna Tribunal rejects IA by Andhra Pradesh against Palamuru
The Telangana government issued GO No 246 on August 18, 2022, to utilise 90 tmcft of water from Srisailam for PRLIS.
HYDERABAD: In a major relief to Telangana, the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-2 on Wednesday dismissed the Interlocutory Application (IA) filed by the Andhra Pradesh government against the Palamuru-Rangareddy Lift Irrigation Scheme (PRLIS) stating that it has no jurisdiction to hear the petition.
The AP government had filed the IA on December 8, 2022, requesting the Tribunal to restrain Telangana from utilising 90 tmcft of Krishna waters for PRLIS. Tribunal chairman Justice Brijesh Kumar and members Justice Ram Mohan Reddy and Justice S Talapatra pronounced their verdict on Wednesday after perusing the voluminous documents filed by both sides and hearing their arguments.
The Telangana government issued GO No 246 on August 18, 2022, to utilise 90 tmcft of water from Srisailam for PRLIS. “Restrain the Telangana from utilising 90 tmcft for PRLIS from 75% dependable flows from Srisailam reservoir, pending disposal of the present reference to the KWDT-II under Section-89 proceedings,” the AP government’s IA had said. On February 2, 2023, Telangana filed its counter to the IA and AP later filed its rejoinder. This was followed by the surrejoinder by TS. The hearings concluded on July 14, 2023.
“KWDT-II does not have jurisdiction to hear this IA. Liberty is given to AP to move appropriate forums,” the verdict on Wednesday said. “... where no allocation had been made earlier for PRLIS by any of the Tribunals constituted under Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956. A water dispute Tribunal cannot by itself entertain any dispute which would not be the subject matter of the reference to it. For the reasons given and the discussion held in this order, we find that this Tribunal does not have jurisdiction to entertain the application moved,” the verdict said.
In its orders, the Tribunal said: “The applicant, however, would be free to approach any other forum for the relief as may be permissible under the law. In the result, the application IA No. 13 of 2022 is rejected.”
Senior counsel CS Vaidyanathan, advocate on record Nikhil Swamy, advocate Harish Vaidyanathan and other lawyers, as well as Superintending Engineer R Koteshwar Rao, Executive Engineer S Vijaya Kumar and Deputy Executive Engineer N Ravi Shankar appeared in the proceedings on behalf of Telangana. Senior counsel Umapathi, Srinivas and other lawyers and senior engineers Srinivas and Ravikumar and others appeared on behalf of Andhra Pradesh.
Telangana allocated ‘assured waters’ of 90 tmcft for PRLIS. Telangana allocated 45 tmcft, saving its allocations for minor irrigation tanks. The Bachawat Tribunal allocated 90 tmcft for Telangana from Krishna River for minor irrigation tanks. However, Telangana stated that it never used more than 45 tmcft for minor irrigation schemes and the unutilised 45 tmcft is allocated to PRLIS. Besides, another 45 tmcft which Telangana is entitled to use from Nagarjuna Sagar, once AP gets permission to construct Polavaram, has also been allocated to PRLIS.