Amaravati: Spirit of Zonal Council meet lost; AP, TS spar at KRMB

The Krishna River Management Board (KRMB)

The Krishna River Management Board (KRMB)


No agreement has been reached on pestering water disputes between two Telugu states in the Krishna River Management Board meet in Hyderabad despite recent Zonal Council meet chaired by Union home minister Amit Shah

Amaravati: The Krishna River Management Board (KRMB) meeting held in Hyderabad on Thursday only proved that no salutary lessons were learnt from the recent 29th Southern Zonal Council Meet held at the temple town of Tirupati under the chairmanship of Union minister of home affairs Amit Shah.

The sparring Telugu cousins could not agree to any water sharing formula despite the best efforts of the KRMB and only agreed to disagree. The Southern Zonal Meet was aimed at resolving the inter-state disputes including river water disputes.

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have been fighting over Krishna and Godavari river water sharing as well over almost all the projects. The fracas only persisted in Thursday's meet too with Telangana insisting on 50:50 share in Krishna river water while AP insisted on continuing the 66:34 ratio as per the working arrangement agreed to by both the states in 2017.

There are more than a dozen items on the agenda in almost every meet but the major bone of contention has always remained the water sharing method. As usual this dominated the proceedings on Thursday, it is learnt.

A major problem for the KRMB in convincing either party for a change in the arrangement has always been its inability to intervene in the allocation made by the Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal (KWDT)-1. The matter is pending in the Tribunal till date and hence is sub-judice. AP, as is its wont, preferred to raise the matter to counter Telangana argument. This, the sources said, led to an argument between the two.

This time around Telangana sought 150 tmc ft of water to meet its irrigation needs and an additional 90 tmc ft of water for its drinking water needs for the next six months.

AP officials reportedly insisted on 23 tmc ft of water for the current kharif requirement of the next two weeks. However, they expressed their inability to accede to the Telangana government's request for the desired quantity of water.

The KRMB officials, it is said, suggested utilisation of all available water for the next two weeks which was not agreeable to both the sides.

Among the issues not browsed upon were disputes over the organisational structure for the boards, budgetary allocations to the boards by both the states, diversion of Godavari water to Krishna basin, carry-over of unutilised share of water by Telangana to the next water year, utilisation and regulation of surplus water during the monsoon, shifting of the KRMB office from Hyderabad to Vizag, etc.,

There is little chance of these issues figuring as main talking points as long as the water sharing is not agreed upon in the next meeting supposed to be held later this month.

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