New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday allowed the Centre to have representatives from Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh in the “supervisory committee” to monitor the release of water from the Babli barrage by Maharashtra in the Pochampad project.
A three-judge bench of Chief Justice T.S. Thakur and Justices A.M. Kanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud allowed the application filed by Centre for reconstitution of the committee following the division of undivided AP. It said the chairman of the Central Water Commission will continue to chair the reconstituted supervisory committee.
Senior counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan appearing for TS strongly opposed the induction of a member from AP, contending that after bifurcation TS had the rights to be in the committee.
Counsel said Telangana being the successor state, its representation is automatic and AP’s representation should be deleted as it has no interest. Senior counsel T.R. Andhyarujina for Maharashtra supported Telangana and said AP’s representation in the committee was not required.
However, senior counsel Ashok Ganguly for AP said being a lower riparian state, AP had vital interests in the project and it should continue to have a member in the committee. Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar said reconstitution was necessary after bifurcation and both the states should remain in the committee.
The CJI told counsel, “We are not getting into the merits of the dispute inter-se between Telangana and AP, which should be dealt with in separate proceedings, if you so wish.”
In its decree the court had accepted the contention of un-divided AP that the construction of the barrage would result in considerable amount of water flowing back from the reservoir storage area to barrage storage area and appointed the committee to supervise the drawal of water by Maharashtra....