Bengaluru bandh: What is the Cauvery water dispute? Check latest updates | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

Bengaluru bandh: What is the Cauvery water dispute? Check latest updates

Sep 26, 2023 11:21 AM IST

Bengaluru Bandh Latest Updates: Schools, colleges and private institutions will remain closed on Tuesday. Section 144 has been imposed across the city.

Amid the ongoing dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) order to release water, farmers and Kannada organisations along with the BJP and JD(S) called for a bandh in Bengaluru on Tuesday and Friday. All schools and colleges remained closed on Tuesday in view of the bandh.

Bengaluru Bandh(HT File Photo)
Bengaluru Bandh(HT File Photo)

What is the CWMA order?

The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) order directed Karnataka to release 5,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for 15 days. However, the top leaders governing the state said there has not been enough water to release.

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Following the CWMA order of water sharing, concerns arose over the availability of surplus water in Karnataka. Both Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah and deputy chief minister DK Shivakumar held an important meeting in New Delhi on the Cauvery water-sharing dispute.

Calling for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention in resolving the issue, Siddaramaiah said, “The prime minister has the authority to summon the two states and hear their arguments. Given this context, we have appealed for the Prime Minister’s intervention.”

Reason for the dispute

Deputy CM DK Shivakumar, who also holds the water resources portfolio, said that Karnataka has only one-third of the required water available. CM Siddaramaiah cited low precipitation after August and low groundwater table, being two major reasons for not releasing the water to Tamil Nadu.

The top Congress leader said, "Our rainfall ceases after August, whereas Tamil Nadu continues to receive rain after that. Their groundwater table is also higher, which worsens our situation.”

Cauvery water dispute history

The Karnataka and Tamil Nadu Cauvery water dispute dates back to the British era. A resolution was acquired in 1924 after the Mysore princely state and the Madras presidency arrived at a consensus.

Mysore was permitted to build a dam at Kannambadi village to store 44.8 thousand million cubic feet of water. The agreement was supposed to be valid for up to 50 years followed by a review. However, both the states took the dispute to the Supreme Court after 1947 multiple times, but to no avail.

The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) was constituted by the government in 1990 to resolve the water-sharing row between the states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry. The CWDT passed an interim order to Karnataka for releasing 205 million cubic feet of water, monthly or weekly to Tamil Nadu.

What will remain closed?

Schools, colleges and private institutions will remain closed on Tuesday. Section 144 of the CrPC has been imposed across the city by the Bengaluru city police. The Bengaluru city police instructed gatherings of more than five people will not be permitted.

However, essential services such as hospitals, medical shops, nursing homes, emergency services, petrol pumps, water supply, electricity and sanitation services are expected to remain open.

The Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited will remain open and continue with the metro services across the city on Tuesday. Cabs/taxi services and restaurants are expected to be available as they withdrew their support from the Bandh on Monday.

Bengaluru Airport has also released an advisory on planning journeys accordingly, in view of the bandh. Multiple airlines including Indigo, SpiceJet, Vistara and Akasa Air requested passengers to take sufficient time to travel to the airport as it may take longer than usual

Supreme Court refuses to interfere

The Supreme Court refused to interfere with CWMA's order and said that it is not inclined to entertain the plea of Tamil Nadu challenging the decision of the CWMA.

CWMA and the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) have taken all key aspects into consideration-- like drought and deficit rainfall before passing the order, the SC bench said.

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    Neha Yadav is a journalist at Hindustan Times, Delhi. She covers news across various beats.

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