Supreme Court reserves verdict; will Tamil Nadu get due share of Cauvery?

Political parties and Tamil organisations are concerned over what they believe was the Centre’s attempt to drag the dispute.

Published: 21st September 2017 02:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st September 2017 07:50 AM   |  A+A-

The bench is hearing a 2013 PIL on prevailing inhuman conditions prevailing in 1,382 prisons across the country.

Supreme Court. (File | PTI)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: With Tamil Nadu’s struggle for its due share of Cauvery water back in the limelight after the Supreme Court reserved its verdict in an appeal case on Wednesday, political parties and Tamil organisations are concerned over what they believe was the Centre’s attempt to drag the dispute.
Upper riparian Karnataka has always failed to honour the past agreements, interim and final awards of the Cauvery Waters Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) constituted in 1990.
According to the final award of the CWDT delivered in 2007 and notified in the gazette in 2013, Karnataka has to discharge 192 tmc water for Tamil Nadu every water year, from June to January, but it has not done so.

“The quantum of water that Karnataka released in the current water year, from June till date, may be about 20 tmc. It never honours the award of the tribunal and has not implemented the orders of Supreme Court as well,” A Veerappan, retired special chief engineer of Tamil Nadu PWD, told Express.
The water due to Tamil Nadu is 10 tmc in June, 34 tmc in July, 50 tmc in August and 40 tmc in September as per the formula laid down by the tribunal.

The submissions made by the Centre and the Karnataka government before the Supreme Court have led to further consternation, with some here alleging that the BJP was trying to drag the issue due to the upcoming polls in Karnataka. “I feel the Centre’s moves may be a signal to the people concerned that the Cauvery dispute will drag further,” noted ‘Mannargudi’ S Ranganathan, a crusader of Tamil Nadu’s rights in the Cauvery waters.  Veerappan, who is also general secretary of the Tamil Nadu Senior PWD Engineers Association, is of the view that the Centre has been unnecessarily meddling.

If the dispute is futher dragged, it may give the leeway to Karnataka to complete the controversial dam project across the river in Mekedattu, another leader said, adding the CWDT’s final award has the ‘force and strength’ of a Supreme Court order. However, the questions posed by the Supreme Court about the Centre’s failure to constitute the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) and the Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC) have offered a ray of hope. “I get the impression that the judges must have realised the depth of the exacerbating problem and give a verdict that may end the woes of Tamil Nadu farmers,” Ranganathan added.

Award scrutiny
10 years after the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) announced its award, the Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on a batch of cross petitions by Karnataka, TN, Kerala and Puducherry against the award
The court said the Centre will have to frame a scheme for the implementation of its orders on river water-sharing between these states and Puducherry after the judgment is pronounced
The court also asked for written submissions from the parties involved

Stalin hits out at Centre over Cauvery

DMK working president and Leader of Opposition M K Stalin charged the Centre with trying to water down the final award of the CWDT. “The BJP-led Centre must stay away from raising fresh doubts one by one before the Supreme Court hurting the rights of Tamil Nadu. It should not collude with the Karnataka government to dilute the final verdict of the CWDT instead of implementing it,” he said in a statement.

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