Cauvery dispute: SC to deliver verdict today

Cauvery dispute: SC to deliver verdict today

The sharing of waters has been a big conflict between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka in particular with decades of talks and negotiations led to no resolution of the dispute the genesis of which was in the agreements in 1892 and 1924 between the erstwhile Madras Presidency and Kingdom of Mysore.

The final award makes a yearly allocation of 419 tmcft to Tamil Nadu in the entire Cauvery basin, 270 tmcft to Karnataka, 30 tmcft to Kerala and 7 tmcft to Puducherry. There were many flare-ups in the two states over water during pendency of the appeals in the SC, which commenced final hearing on the petitions previous year and reserved its verdict on September 20.

After opposition from the Centre, the apex court constituted a nine-member panel headed by G.S. Jha, chairperson of the Central Water Commission (CWC), and comprising members nominated by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala to resolve the water-sharing dispute.

It also maintained that water distribution can not be done on the basis of pre-constitution agreements relied upon by the tribunal which allocated just 270 tmcft to Karnataka. Government sources said security has been tightened for precautionary measures to avoid violence. The Apex court also asked Karnataka to provide 177 TMC Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. In its judgement, the Apex Court said that 20 TMC of groundwater in Tamil Nadu had not been accounted for & needed to be seen. The order on Cauvery water allocation will continue for the next 15 years. As a result of this TN's water share has been reduced to 177.25 tmcft. Of the total catchment area of 81,155 square kilometres, 34,273 sq.km is in Karnataka, 44,016 sq.km in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry and about 2,866 sq.km in Kerala. The verdict is a balanced verdict which protects the interest of both the states. It opposed the release of water to Tamil Nadu during hard years, building up tensions between both states leading to violent conflicts on either side.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah expressed his happiness over the verdict but also said that he would react after reading a copy of the order. The verdict holds significance since sharing the Cauvery water is an emotive as well existential issue for thousands of families dependent on the river that flows between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

We believe in verdict of the court and respect it.

Karnataka rejected the tribunal's award and sought for an annulment in the Supreme Court.

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