BENGALURU: Karnataka’s hopes for a better deal in the Cauvery dispute were kindled by the Supreme Court order asserting that the court has the jurisdiction to hear its (Karnataka) appeal against the 2007 Cauvery Tribunal award “Appeals are maintainable, will be heard from December 15,” said the Bench.
Karnataka had contested the final verdict, arguing that a major share of the water will go to Tamil Nadu, leaving almost six Karnataka districts, including Bengaluru, without enough water for drinking and farming.
Tamil Nadu’s claims are based on agreements executed between then governments of Mysore and Madras in 1892 and 1924, which the tribunal says cannot be held as “invalid”.
Speaking to Express, a high-ranking engineer in the Water Resources Department said, “The Tribunal had brushed aside Karnataka’s plea for allocating a fair quantum of water to meet the drinking water needs of Bengaluru. The Tribunal had said that only one-third of Bengaluru comes under Cauvery basin. The SC order now gives us an opportunity to effectively argue the need for meeting the future drinking water needs of Bengaluru, which has emerged as one of the economic growth engines of the country providing source of livelihood to lakhs of people from all over the country including Tamil Nadu.”
According to water resources expert
M Lakshman, there are about 15 points on which Karnataka could argue for a bigger share of water in Cauvery basin. “Karnataka is contributing about 425 tmcfeet of water to the Cauvery basin and the state has been allotted just 270 tmcfeet by the Tribunal. Tamil Nadu, which contributes only about 252 tmcfeet has been awarded 419 tmcfeet. We now have an opportunity to present our arguments again to stake claim for a more judicious share of water for Karnataka,” says Lakshman.