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Andhra Pradesh has been awarded maximum share of 1,000 thousand million cubic feet (TMC) of surplus water from Krishna river by a tribunal set up six years ago, followed by 911 TMC for Karnataka and 666 TMC for Maharashtra.

The Justice Brijesh Kumar Tribunal under the retired apex court judge gave its report Thursday on the water dispute, which has seen a prolonged battle between the three states, particularly after Karnataka sought to raise the height of a dam on the river.

Andhra Pradesh contends the proposal to raise Almatti Dam’s height is in violation of an earlier tribunal’s verdict handed in 1973, but Karnataka says the height of 528 metres was approved by the Planning Commission in 1978. The tribunal approves 524.24 metres.

This earlier trubunal was set up in 1969 under another retired Supreme Court judge, Justice R.S. Bachawat.

According to officials, the federal government will now constitute the Krishna Water Implementation Board after three months to oversee the operative part of the verdict, which can now be reviewed only in 2050. But an appeal can be filed after May 2011.

Both Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh have hailed the decision, while Maharashtra says there were both positive and negative points in the verdict that have to be studied in detail before making an official comment.

“It is a great day and historic day for Karnataka. The state has been allocated 911 tmc of water which the government will do its best to utilise,” Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa told reporters in Bangalore on the 42-year-old dispute.

He also said that the verdict had vindicated the state’s stand for raising the height of the Almatti dam in Bijapur district from 519 metres to 524.24 metres.The 1,300-km river, among the longest in India

, starts its journey north of Western Ghats at Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra and flows into the Bay of Bengal in Andhra Pradesh via Karnataka.

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