'Permanent irrigation structures a 'conscious defiance': K'taka

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New Delhi, Nov 4 (UNI) Karnataka today accused Andhra Pradesh of commiting an act of 'conscious defiance' even after the Supreme Court ordered that there could be no large-scale permanent structures to utilise unutilised waters allowed by the previous Krishna Water Dispute Tribunal (KWDT) headed by Justice Bachawat.

Continuing his arguments for the second successive day before the KWDT headed by Justice Brijesh Kumar, Senior Counsel for Karnataka, Fali S Nariman said the Bachawat Tribunal allowed Andhra Pradesh the 'liberty to use' the unutilised share of waters by upper riparian states of Maharashtra and Karnataka under the section 5 (C) of the Bachawat Tribunal report.

He said Andhra Pradesh had sought to utilise all the surplus waters calculated by the previous KWDT under lesser dependability for itself. It was even seeking 'prior appropriation rights' over the utilisable water whereas prior appropriation rights can exist only in an uncharted river where no facility is created.

Mr Nariman also apprised the Tribunal that Andhra Pradesh had created storage capacity beyond its allocation by constructing five projects even after the apex court declared that there could be no permanent structures. These were Velligonda, Handriniva, Galeru Nagari, Kalvakurti Lift Irrigation Scheme, Nettampadu Lift Irrigation Scheme and Koil Sagar. Besides, work was still on in the unapproved Telugu Ganga and Srisailam Left Bank Canal.

He made it clear that Karnataka was not raising the issue as a matter of contempt of the Supreme Court order but was bringing to the notice of the KWDT about Andhra Pradesh converting 'liberty to use projects' to build permanent structures. ''This is not like construction of flats for some time and demolishing them later because you have created an infrastructure and the demand for water. Consequences must follow for this act,'' Mr Nariman argued.

When asked by the Tribunal what consequences could offset the AP violations, Mr Nariman replied 'allow higher storage in Alamatti in Karnataka.

He said it was 'erroneous' to think that Scheme-B prescribed by the Bachawat Tribunal was only dealing with surplus water. It was not a decision but was capable of being implemented at any time by a law. In effect, all the riparian states were put on alert by the Tribunal and later by the Supreme Court. The states were bound to plan for utilisation of surplus waters (ranging from 490 to 517 TMC) calculated by two upper riparian states at 50 per cent dependability. Besides, the KWDT-1 had apportioned 2060 TMC of water for the three basin states.

Touching upon Maharashtra's pleadings that it was unfair to foist under 'Scheme-B' and that it could not plan for storages under it, Mr Nariman said all the states were put on notice by the KWDT-I as well as the Supreme Court about the Scheme-B which could have been implemented through a law at any point of time.

Mr Nariman will be continuing his arguments on behalf of the state of Karnataka tomorrow.

UNI MCN AKJ CS1812

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