Andhra Pradesh Current Affairs

Smooth-coated otter sighted for first time in Krishna sanctuary

Smooth-coated otter was sighted for the first time in the mangrove forest near the Krishna wildlife sanctuary (KWS) in Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh.

In all, seven otters were sighted in the mangrove forests and brackish water channels of Eelachetladibba and Lankevennedibba and other areas outside the KWS. The presence of the otter is a key indicator for rise of the mangrove cover in the KWS.

About smooth-coated Otter

  • The smooth-coated Otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) is a species of otter, the only extant representative of the genus Lutrogale. Otter is a carnivorous mammals.
  • The fur of this species is smoother and shorter than that of other otters. It is distributed throughout South Asia and South East Asia.
  • The otter lives in rivers, lakes, peat swamp forests, mangroves and estuaries. It uses swamps as natal den sites and nursery during the breeding season in early winter.
  • Otters are social and hunt in groups. The male otter is polygamous and mates with up to the four females.
  • It has been categorised ‘vulnerable’ in the red data book of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).


No relook into allocation of Krishna water: Tribunal

The Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal II (KWDT-II) headed by Justice Brijesh Kumar, has decided to maintain status quo on the allocation of Krishna River water among all four riparian states viz. Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.  However, tribunal decided to confine the reallocation of Krishna water to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

What is the case?

The KWDT-II pronounced its judgement on the litigation prompted by Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Both states in their petition had sought fresh allocation of Krishna River water among all four riparian states. They had urged that Section 89 in the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 meant redistribution of Krishna water among all the four riparian States not just between both of them.

What was KWDT-II verdict?

In its verdict, the tribunal said that Section 89 the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 was not applicable to all four riparian states but is meant only for Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. Thus, there was no need to re-allocate of Krishna River water among all four riparian states. The river water should be re-allocated between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, from the share of undivided Andhra Pradesh.

What is Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT)?

Krishna Water Disputes Tribunal (KWDT) is a tribunal set up by the Central Government in 1969 under the Interstate River Water Disputes Act, 1956 to resolve the disputes between the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra and then undivided Andhra Pradesh over sharing of Krishna river water.

About Krishna River

The Krishna River is the second biggest river in peninsular India after Goadavri River. It originates near Mahabaleshwar (Satara) in Maharashtra.  It then runs from four states Maharashtra (303 km), North Karnataka (480 km) and the rest of its 1300 km journey in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh before it empties into the Bay of Bengal.

What are Water Disputes Tribunals?

  • As per the Article 262 of the Constitution, Parliament may by law provide for the adjudication of any dispute or complaint with respect to the use, distribution or control of the waters of, any interstate rivers or river valley.
  • In pursuance of this article, the parliament had enacted Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956 to govern the inter-State river water disputes. Under this law, water disputes tribunals are constituted for the adjudication of the interstate water dispute.

Article 262 vs Article 131 of the Constitution

  • The Article 131 of the Constitution which deals with the Supreme Court’s exclusive jurisdiction to adjudicate disputes between States is not an unrestricted one.
  • The apex court can exercise its jurisdiction under Article 131 in an inter-State dispute, provided other Articles in the Constitution allowed it to do so.
  • Article 262 (2) of the Constitution allows Parliament, by law, to bar the Supreme Court from interfering in an inter-State water dispute.
  • It means that award of water tribunal appointed under a law to resolve inter-State water dispute would be final and deemed to have the force of a Supreme Court order or decree.
  • Thus, it can be said that the award of the tribunal formed under the Inter-State Water Disputes Act, 1956 eclipses the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction.


Urban areas of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh declared open defecation free

The Union Urban Development Ministry has declared urban areas of Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh open defecation free (ODF). These are the first states to become open defecation free in urban areas.

It was announced on the occasion of second anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission and 147th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi observed on October 2, 2016.

Key Facts

  • In all, 180 and 110 cities and towns in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh respectively were declared ODF by their chief ministers.
  • So far, total of 405 out of the 4,041 cities and towns across India have claimed to have become open defecation free.
  • The Union Government has set ambitious target of making 334 more cities open defecation free by March 2017.
  • In rural India, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Kerala have achieved more than 90% of toilet construction in households.
  • But Bihar, Odisha and Jammu and Kashmir are still trailing with fewer than 30% of households with toilets in rural areas.

What is Open defecation?

  • Open defecation means people defecate in open spaces such as fields, bushes, forests, open bodies of water rather than using the toilet.
  • Hazards of Open Defecation: It is important factor in causing various diseases like intestinal worm infections, diarrhoea, polio, hepatitis etc.
  • Prevention: Creating awareness about adverse impact of open defecation on health, changing behavioural habit of people, building of community toilets etc.

About Swachh Bharat Mission

  • The Swachh Bharat Mission is the pet project of NDA Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
  • It was launched on 2 October 2014 to make India clean and open defecation free by 2019 to mark Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.
  • The current cleanliness drive aims to end the wide-spread practice of open defecation, build more toilets and improve waste management.