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SC to hear Cauvery river dispute today: A quick take of the situation

Ahead of the Supreme Court’s hearing of the Cauvery river sharing dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, a look at the tensions that claimed one life in September when riots broke out over the dourt’s initial ruling.

CauveryWaterDispute Updated: Oct 18, 2016 13:59 IST
Moushumi Das Gupta
Moushumi Das Gupta
Hindustan Times
Cauvery dispute,Tamil Nadu,Karnataka
Farmers' groups and opposition parties in Karnataka have been campaigning against the sharing of Cauvery river waters with neighbouring Tamil Nadu.(AFP)

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the Cauvery river dispute on Tuesday, a day after an expert panel submitted its report assessing the ground realities in the river basin. Karnataka and Tamil Nadu have been fighting over the amount of water being shared, with Karnataka refusing to release the volume of water determined by the apex court.

The court is expected to announce the quantum of water after considering the ground report.

A look at the dispute that claimed one life in September when riots broke out over the Supreme Court ruling.

Judicial directive

* On September 30, the SC asked the Union water resources ministry to facilitate a meeting between the two states after Karnataka refused to release 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu. The court asked the Centre to set up the Cauvery Water Management Board to handle the dispute.

* A meeting between the states failed to break the deadlock.

Read | Cauvery row: Karnataka asks SC to modify order on water sharing

* On October 3, the Centre told water resources ministry it could not set up the water management board.

* The apex court then directed the water resources ministry to set up an expert panel to assess the ground reality in the river basin areas in both states. The panel submitted its report on October 17.

What the committee found

* In the absence of required amounts of water, labour employment for the farming and fishing was being limited, leading to unemployment and financial hardship for farmers.

* As a result, a number of suicides were reported in Mandya district of Karnataka.

* The Karnataka government declared 42 of 48 talukas under Cauvery basin as drought-affected areas.

* Both states need to appreciate each other’s interest -- Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in protection of their established irrigation and Karnataka’s aspirations for development -- and educate their people accordingly.

Read | Cauvery water row explained: Why Tamil Nadu, Karnataka fight over river usage?

Panel recommendations

* The deficit impact on account of water allocation can be neutralised to some extent by optimal, dynamic and resilient planning of the cropped area by considering the flow pattern and forecast. This can address the issue of unemployment and financial hardship in the basin states.

*The water application techniques are outdated and unscientific, and the value of water is not realised. They need to be done away with.

For more on the Cauvery river dispute, click here.

First Published: Oct 18, 2016 13:56 IST