The project, supported by The Asia Foundation (TAF), has developed a framework for monitoring disputes over natural resources. This was a pilot project, located in the Krishna river basin in Andhra Pradesh. The project’s premise was that disputes over natural resources emerge due to gaps in corresponding policy and governance mechanisms. The project’s aim was to experiment a methodology for monitoring and studying dispute incidences to draw lessons for policy making and designing institutions for better governance of natural resources.
The project has monitored three ongoing disputes over natural resources in the Krishna basin, Andhra Pradesh: water, land, and environment (flood plains encroachment). One, the conflict over interstate water sharing of Krishna river waters between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. This includes the conflict around the linking of Krishna with Godavari river through the Polavaram project – a project given a status of “National Project” by the Union government as part of the bifurcation arrangement. Two, the land related conflicts around the implementation of the “Land Pooling Scheme” (LPS) by the state of Andhra Pradesh for building their new capital city of Amaravati on the western banks of Krishna river. Three, the environmental conflicts due to proposed Amaravati city - the encroachment of flood plains for the new capital city of Amaravati. The project has also documented disputes over other environmental issues such as the proposed de-notification of the forest land in the capital region.
The project has monitored dispute incidences over a period of four months by pursuing incidences reported in the local newspapers, television channels, social media, field visits, and other government/non-government sources. These incidences are backed by research efforts for documenting and analyzing the disputes. The project has resulted in documenting a total of 43 dispute incidences (Water-27; Land-10; Environment-6). These have been analyzed to draw implications for corresponding policies (for e.g., LPS), and institutions (for e.g., Krishna River Management Board).