Andhra seeks PM's intervention in Krishna water row (Lead)

New Delhi/Hyderabad, Dec 20 : An all-party delegation from Andhra Pradesh Friday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and appealed to him to intervene to undo the "injustice" meted out to the state in allocation of Krishna river water.

The delegation led by Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy called on the prime minister in New Delhi and submitted a memorandum over the recent award of the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) II headed by Brijesh Kumar, a retired judge of the Supreme Court.

The delegation explained to the prime minister how the award by KWDT II will deprive Andhra Pradesh of its right to use surplus water.

The state, which plans to challenge the award in the Supreme Court, wanted the central government to implead in its support as the tribunal's decision will have an impact all over the country.

According to a statement by the chief minister's office in Hyderabad, the prime minister ordered a detailed study of the state's objections.

Union Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat, who present during the meeting, expressed the government's inability to do anything to reverse the decision taken by the tribunal.

The members of the delegation told reporters after the meeting that they requested the prime minister to use all the powers to ensure justice to the state.

The delegation included state Irrigation Minister Sudershan Reddy, Panchayati Raj Minister K. Jana Reddy, leaders of Telugu Desam Party, Telangana Rashtra Samithi, YSR Congress Party, Bharatiya Janata Party, Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India-Marxist.

The delegation claimed that the tribunal tried to distribute even surplus waters altering the parameters that were being adopted for measuring dependability and availability.

The delegation apprised Manmohan Singh of the concerns of state's farmers and explained how the award would hit water availability to projects in eight districts.

The tribunal set up in 2004, in its interim decision announced in 2010, distributed water up to average flows of 2,578 thousand million cubic (TMC) feet, notwithstanding the national norm of 75 percent dependability.

Arguing that the decision resulted in inequity in allocations and unsettled many of the settled issues, the Andhra Pradesh government challenged it in the Supreme Court, which directed the central government not to publish the award in the official gazette.

The tribunal in its final order pronounced last month did not address the concerns of Andhra Pradesh government, which claimed that the tribunal favoured upper riparian states of Maharashtra and Karnataka.

Under the order, Karnataka was allowed to raise the height of Almatti Dam, which Andhra Pradesh alleges will affect its interests.

Andhra Pradesh argued that the tribunal reduced water dependability from 75 percent to 65 percent, saying this was against international water laws and national policy.

--IANS (Posted on 20-12-2013)

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