Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

River Water Disputes UPSC Current Affairs

UPSC Civils GS2 Current Affairs 04th July-2021

  1. River Water Disputes | Andhra Pradesh and Telangana

#GS2 #Interstaterelations #Federalism #Waterresources

Context: Police forces were deployed at various hydel power projects in bordering districts of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana amid rising tensions.

About the Ongoing Dispute:

  • Telangana and Andhra Pradesh share stretches of the Krishna and the Godavari and own their tributaries.
  • Both states have proposed several new projects without getting clearance from the river boards, the Central Water Commission and the Apex Council, as mandated by the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014.
  • The Apex Council was formed under the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014, to supervise the functioning of the Godavari and Krishna River Management Boards, and to resolve any dispute over sharing of river waters between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

  • The Apex Council comprises the Union Water Resources Minister and the Chief Ministers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Andhra Pradesh government’s proposal to increase the utilisation of the Krishna water from part of the river above the Srisailam Reservoir led to the Telangana government filing a complaint against Andhra Pradesh.
  • The Andhra Pradesh government retaliated with its own complaints saying that Palamuru-Rangareddy, Dindi Lift Irrigation Schemes on the Krishna river and Kaleshwaram, Tupakulagudem schemes and a few barrages proposed across the Godavari are all new projects.
  • The sharing of Krishna waters between Telugu states is yet to be awarded by the Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal, which also is responsible for allotment of water to states like Maharashtra through which the Krishna river also flows through.

Godavari River:

  • The Godavari is the largest river system of the Peninsular India and is revered as Dakshina Ganga.
  • Godavari river rises from Trimbakeshwar near Nasik in Maharashtra and flows for a length of about 1465 km before outfalling into the Bay of Bengal.
  • The basin is bounded by Satmala hills, the Ajanta range and the Mahadeo hills on the north, by the Eastern Ghats on the south and the east and by the Western Ghats on the west.
  • The Godavari basin extends over states of Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Odisha in addition to smaller parts in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Union territory of Puducherry.
  • Tributaries: Pravara, Purna, Manjra, Penganga, Wardha, Wainganga, Pranhita (combined flow of Wainganga, Penganga, Wardha), Indravati, Maner and the Sabri
  • The total length of Godavari from its origin to outfall into the Bay of Bengal is 1,465 km.

Krishna River:

  • The Krishna is the second largest east flowing river of the Peninsula.
  • It originates near Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra.
  • The Krishna Basin extends over Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Karnataka having a total area of ~2.6 lakh
  • It is bounded by Balaghat range on the north, by the Eastern Ghats on the south and the east and by the Western Ghats on the west.
  • The major part of basin is covered with agricultural land accounting to 75.86% of the total area.
  • Tributaries: Tungabhadra, Mallaprabha, Koyna, Bhima, Ghataprabha, Yerla, Warna, Dindi, Musi and Dudhganga.
  • The Krishna forms a large delta with a shoreline of about 120 km. The Krishna delta appears to merge with that formed by the Godavari and extends about 35 km into the sea.
  • The Krishna river flows along the border of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, and the water is distributed between the two states through two main projects — the Nagarjuna Sagar dam downstream and the Srisailam dam upstream.
River Water Disputes - Andhra Pradesh & Telangana
River Water Disputes – Andhra Pradesh & Telangana

Provisions for ‘Water’ in the Indian Constitution:

  • Water is in the State List. It is Entry 17 of the list and hence, states can legislate with respect to rivers.
  • Entry 56 of the Union List, however, gives the Central government the power to regulate and develop inter-state rivers and river valleys.
  • Article 262 also states that the Parliament may provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of, or in, any inter-State river or river valley.
  • As per Article 262, the Parliament has enacted the following:
    • River Board Act, 1956: This empowered the GOI to establish Boards for Interstate Rivers and river valleys in consultation with State Governments. Till date, no river board has been created.
    • Inter-State Water Dispute Act, 1956: Under this act, if a state government or governments approach the Centre for the constitution of a tribunal, the government may form a tribunal after trying to resolve the dispute through consultations.
      • The decision of the tribunal is final and binding on the parties to the dispute
      • Neither the Supreme Court nor any other court is to have jurisdiction in respect of any water dispute which may be referred to such a tribunal under this Act.


2.Constitutional Crisis and President’s rule in West Bengal

#GS2 #Federal structure #Union Executive

Context: Recently, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear a plea seeking directions to the Centre to impose President’s Rule in West Bengal over alleged incidents of post-poll violence in the state.

  • A bench comprising Justices Vineet Saran and Dinesh Maheshwari issued notice to the Centre, West Bengal and the Election Commission of India.

Key Details:

What are the allegations against West Bengal Government?

  • During the violence, the government and administration remained silent spectators and no protection was provided to the victims by them.
  • No appropriate action was taken against the culprits, due to which the life, liberty, dignity of the women and children are in peril and the future of Hindu residents is in jeopardy.
  • The plea sought from the court “directing the central government to exercise its power conferred by Article 355 and Article 356 keeping in view the deteriorating condition posing a threat to sovereignty and integrity of India.
  • The National Human Rights Commission on June 21 has already set up an eight-member committee headed by NHRC member Rajiv Jain in compliance with a Calcutta High Court direction to investigate incidents of post-poll violence in West Bengal.

What is President’s Rule in the Indian context?

  • President’s rule is the suspension of state government and imposition of direct central government rule in a state.
  • This is achieved through the invocation of Article 356 of the Constitution by the President on the advice of the Union Council of Ministers.
  • Article 356 of the Constitution of India is based on Section 93 of the Government of India Act, 1935.
  • According to Article 356, President’s Rule can be imposed on any state of India on the grounds of the failure of the constitutional machinery. This is of two types:
    • If the President receives a report from the state’s Governor or otherwise is convinced or satisfied that the state’s situation is such that the state government cannot carry on the governance according to the provisions of the Constitution.
    • Article 365: As per this Article, President’s Rule can be imposed if any state fails to comply with all directions given by the Union on matters it is empowered to.
  • A proclamation of President’s Rule can be revoked through a subsequent proclamation in case the leader of a party produces letters of support from a majority of members of the Assembly and stakes his claim to form a government.
  • The revocation does not need the approval of Parliament.
  • Any proclamation under Article 356 —which stands for six months — has to be approved by both Houses in the Parliament session following it which can be extended in phases, up to three years.

When is President’s Rule imposed?

  • It has been seen that the President’s Rule has been imposed when any one of the following circumstances have occurred:
    • The state legislature is not able to elect a leader as the Chief Minister for a time prescribed by the state’s governor.
    • Breakdown of a coalition in the state government, that leads to the CM having minority support in the legislature, and the CM is unable to prove his majority within the time prescribed by the governor.
    • A no-confidence vote in the legislative assembly leading to a loss of majority.
    • Postponement of elections owing to unavoidable reasons such as a natural disaster, epidemic or war.
    • Article 365

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