'Scheme-B' nothing but proposals from parties to disputes:Karnataka

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New Delhi, Nov 5 (UNI) Arguing for the constitution of an autonomous Krishna Valley Authority as prescribed in the 'Scheme-B' of the previous Tribunal, Karnataka today said the recommendations were the result of schemes proposed by the three states who were party to the dispute for utilisation of river water in the best possible manner.

Continuing his arguments before the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal-II (KWDT) for the third consecutive day, senior Karnataka Counsel Fali S Nariman said all the parties to the dispute had submitted in writing to the previous Tribunal headed by Justice Bachawat.

The States were apportioned water enmass from 2060 tmc available under 75 per cent dependability under Scheme-A. At the same time the Tribunal had worked out the surplus water at 50 per cent dependability at 257 tmc.

For Karnataka this figure was around 500 tmc while Maharashtra had put the figure at 490 tmc, not very far from Karnataka's estimates.

Mr Nariman said there were complaints against Karnataka's Alamatti reservoir and canal system capable of handling the Scheme-B shares of Karnataka including 23 tmc of water allocated from Godavari diversion project in Polavaram.

This reservoir and canal system were dubbed as 'oversized' dam and canal by Andhra Pradesh. The upper riparian state Maharashtra had merely expressed its apprehensions about 'possibility' of submergence of its territory by the backwaters.

There should be no bar on Karnataka to build its dam to utilise its share of waters in the Scheme-B for its bonafide use without affecting the flows to the lower riparin state or create submergence in the upper reaches.

Creation of storages to hold extra capacity in the upper reaches of the river also spell benefits for the lower riparian states in times of lean year because all the infrastructure was within the country and the states were not alien to one another.

An empowered Krishna Valley Authority should be able to monitor the direct excess water usage throughout the basin and should have powers to penalise the erring states for excess drawal.

Extra storage will be an insurance against vagaries of nature like floods and droughts. ''This is what we call equitable and fair distribution'', he argued.

He said Andhra Pradesh too had agreed for constitution of the Krishna Valley Authority before the KWDT-I but later withdrew its consent.

The KWDT-I had rejected the objections in the interest of better utilisation of water. As long as you have an independent Authority, there is no scope for anything hanky-panky, he said.

Karnataka Irrigation Minister Basavaraj Bommai witnessed almost all part of the Post Lunch arguments putforth by Mr Nariman. Mr Nariman will continue his arguments tomorrow also.

UNI MCN RJ AS1855

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