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In the ‘Cauvery River Water Sharing Disputes’ among the States of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, a ‘Supreme Court Bench’ comprising the ‘Chief Justice Deepak Misra’, ‘Justice Amitava Roy’ and ‘Justice A.M. Khanwilkar’ has delivered its ‘Final Judgement’ in a batch of 4 ‘Civil Appeals’ of the year 2007, filed by the 3 States against the ‘Award’ of the ‘Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’ (CWDT).
To understand the Judgement of the Supreme Court of India, you must know the following basic facts about the ‘Cauvery River Water Sharing Disputes’ among the 4 States involved : Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puduchery.
- The Cauvery River originates from ‘Thalaikaveri’ in the ‘Kodagu Hills’ in the foot-hills of the Western Ghats in the present Karnataka State. Though the river flows mainly through the 2 present States of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
- The ‘Cauvery River Basins’ are in the present 4 States of : Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala.
- All the 4 ‘States’ involved in the ‘Cauvery River Water Sharing’ were in the ‘Madras Province’ and the ‘Princely State of Mysore’.
- Prior to the 1956 bifurcation of ‘States’ in ‘Independent & Republic India’, the British India was having 8 ‘Major Provinces’ and ‘6+ Minor Provinces’ along with ‘6 Princely States’ in India.
- Disputes in the sharing of water from the Cauvery River, between the then ‘Mysore State’ and the ‘Madras State’ started from the year 1881, when the Mysore State planned to build a dam across the Cauvery River, which was objected by the Madras State.
- In the year 1892 an ‘Agreement’ was made between the ‘Madras Province’ and the ‘Princely State of Mysore’, followed by an accord in the year 1924, according to which the ‘Cauvery River Water’ was to be distributed in the ratio: 75 % to Tamil Nadu & Puduchery, 23 % to Karnataka and 2 % to Kerala.
- As a result of the reorganization of the States In the post-independent & republic India in the year 1956, the areas of origin, flow and river basin of the Cauvery River came under the 4 States of : Mysore, Madras, Pondichery and Kerala, which are presently the States of: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala.
- As the ‘1924 Accord’ would come to an end by the year 1974 (after 50 years), Tamil Nadu State had been demanding for a new agreement. After prolonged negotiations, in the year 1990, the ‘Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’ (CWDT) was set up.
- The Tribunal announced its award in the year 2007. The Union Government of India issued the relevant notification of the award only in the year 2013, following a Supreme Court Order.
- However, the States of: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala filed their appeals against the Tribunal’s award in the year 2007.
The Union Government of India, is supposed to frame the necessary ‘Scheme’ for implementing the ‘Final Judgement’ of the ‘Supreme Court of India’ and in monitoring the proper ‘sharing of Cauvery River Water’ among the 4 States involved, within 6 weeks of the SC Judgement delivered on 16th February 2018.
For further and more details on the matter, read my upcoming articles on:
- The Highlights of the ‘Final Award of the ‘Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal'(CWDT) -announced in the year 2007 and
- ‘The Highlights of the Supreme Court of India’s Judgement in the Appeals of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, against the ‘CWDT”s Award on ‘Cauvery River Water Sharing Disputes’ among them, delivered on 16th February 2018.