Fresh trouble on Krishna: Tribunal verdict challenged by riparian states

As per indications, all the four riparian states are separately planning to challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court.

Hyderabad: The extended Krishna Tribunal on Thursday reserved its orders to determine whether the fresh allocation of Krishna waters as stated in Section 89 of the AP Reorganisation Act was applicable to TS and AP or was to be extended to all four riparian states including Karnataka and Maharashtra.

Arguments over the controversial issue by all the four riparian states as well as Centre concluded on Thursday and Justice Brijesh Kumar, chairman of the Krishna Tribunal, announced that it would deliver the verdict in three weeks. As per indications, all the four riparian states are separately planning to challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court.

After repeated reminders, the Centre submitted before the Tribunal that Section 89 of the bifurcation Act would only apply to TS and AP. The Reorganisation Act states the Krishna Tribu-nal would be extended to decide on distribution of Krishna waters among the states. There was no clarity on whether it was applicable to AP and TS or all the four states.

The Justice Brijesh Kumar Tribunal had earlier announced a final award replacing the Bachawat Award and had made allocations of Krishna waters to Karnataka, Maharashtra and united AP in 2013. The Supreme Court, on a Special Leave Petition filed by the then AP government, had stayed publication of notification. The stay is still in place.

After bifurcation, TS had filed a complaint with the extended tribunal for a review of its award, claiming it had been discriminated against since the formation of AP in 1956.

The residuary AP government had also sought a review of the award alleging that justice was not done to it. It said Karnataka and Maharashtra were given en bloc allotments in Krishna while undivided AP was denied the same.

Maharashtra and Karnataka had moved the Tribunal stating that it should allot water to the two Telugu states only from allotment made to united AP, and should not drag them into the fresh distribution plea since everything had been decided by the Tribunal in 2013.

Almost two and a half years later, on Thursday, all the four state governments and the Centre concluded their replies, counters and arguments before the Tribunal.

Now the question before the Tribunal whose verdict is considered equal to a Supreme Court judgement, is whether Section 89 of AP Reorganisation Act will apply to two or four states.

According to sources, if it decides it is confined to the two Telugu states, both states will challenge it in the apex court. In case the Tribunal states that it is applicable to four states and orders for a review of water allocation, Karnataka and Maharashtra will approach the apex court.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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