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2nd Meeting of the Apex Council for Krishna and Godavari River Water Dispute

  • 07 Oct 2020
  • 6 min read

Why in News

The Centre will determine the jurisdictions of the Krishna and Godavari river management boards (KRMB and GRMB), Union Jal Shakti Ministry (MoJS) announced at the Apex Council Meeting.

Key Points

  • Apex Council:
    • It has been constituted by the Central Government under the provisions of Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act (APRA), 2014.
    • It supervises the functioning of the Godavari River Management Board and Krishna River Management Board.
      • KRMB & GRMB are autonomous bodies established as per APRA-2014 under the administrative control of MoJS to manage and regulate the Waters of Krishna and Godavari Basin respectively in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
    • It comprises the Union Jal Shakti Minister and the Chief Ministers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Apex Council Meeting:
    • It was the second meeting since 2016.
    • Aim: To resolve the conflict between the two States over executing irrigation projects and sharing water from the Krishna and Godavari rivers.
    • Highlights of issues discussed:
      • Jurisdiction of the KRMB and GRMB. Even after six years of their formation, their jurisdiction is still not notified because both the states have differing opinions on this issue.
      • Submission of Detailed Project Reports (DPR) of new projects in river basins by the two governments for appraisal and sanction by the Apex Council.
        • As per the APRA-2014, both KRMB and GRMB should technically appraise and clear them.
      • Establishing a mechanism to determine the share of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the Krishna and Godavari waters.
      • Shifting the headquarters of the Krishna River Management Board to Andhra Pradesh as mandated by APRA-2014.
  • Decisions:
    • The Centre will go ahead with notifying the jurisdiction of both KRMB & GRMB because as per the APRA- 2014, no consensus is needed.
    • Both States agreed to submit the DPRs of all the projects.
    • With regards to sharing of river waters, the Telangana Chief Minister agreed to withdraw the case filed in Supreme Court, to allow the Centre to refer water sharing issues to the Krishna Godavari tribunal.

Godavari River

  • Source: Godavari river rises from Trimbakeshwar near Nasik in Maharashtra and flows for a length of about 1465 km before outfalling into the Bay of Bengal.
  • Drainage Basin: The Godavari basin extends over states of Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha in addition to smaller parts in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Union territory of Puducherry.
  • Tributaries: Pravara, Purna, Manjra, Penganga, Wardha, Wainganga, Pranhita (combined flow of Wainganga, Penganga, Wardha), Indravati, Maner and the Sabri.

Krishna River

  • Source: It originates near Mahabaleshwar (Satara) in Maharashtra. It is the second biggest river in peninsular India after the Godavari River.
  • Drainage: It runs from four states Maharashtra (303 km), North Karnataka (480 km) and the rest of its 1300 km journey in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh before it empties into the Bay of Bengal.
  • Tributaries: Tungabhadra, Mallaprabha, Koyna, Bhima, Ghataprabha, Yerla, Warna, Dindi, Musi and Dudhganga.

Inter-State River Water Disputes

  • Article 262 of the Constitution provides for the adjudication of inter-state water disputes.
    • Under this, Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution and control of waters of any inter-state river and river valley.
    • Parliament may also provide that neither the Supreme Court nor any other court is to exercise jurisdiction in respect of any such dispute or complaint.
  • The Parliament has enacted the two laws, the River Boards Act (1956) and the Inter-State Water Disputes Act (1956).
    • The River Boards Act provides for the establishment of river boards by the Central government for the regulation and development of inter-state river and river valleys.
      • A River Board is established on the request of state governments concerned to advise them.
    • The Inter-State Water Disputes Act empowers the Central government to set up an ad hoc tribunal for the adjudication of a dispute between two or more states in relation to the waters of an inter-state river or river valley.
      • The decision of the tribunal is final and binding on the parties to the dispute.
      • Neither the Supreme Court nor any other court is to have jurisdiction in respect of any water dispute which may be referred to such a tribunal under this Act.

Source: PIB

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