The Cauvery River Dispute

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Cauvery River Dispute - The Cauvery river dispute is one of the longest river dispute today. The dispute began in 1974 when the 50 year old agreement between the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu Collapsed. The Cauvery basin covers majorly 3 states and 1 UT – i.e. it originates Talacauvery in Coorg in Mysore state and then flows to Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry. But the Use and development of Cauvery Waters were regulated by agreements of 1892 and 1924, which were solely between the Mysore and Tamil Nadu. According to the Karnataka government the 1924 agreements states the discontinuation of the water supply to Tamil Nadu after 50 year. In 1990, SC directs centre to constitute Cauvery Water dispute tribunal (CWDT). The tribunal heard both the parties and reached a conclusion that Karnataka should release 205TMC of water to Tamil Nadu, every month. Karnataka denied the ruling and argued that it is impossible to implement the decision as in failed monsoons many areas of Karnataka are left without water. In that case they have to transfer water at the cost of their own people. In August 1998 the Centre constituted the Cauvery River Authority to ensure the implementation of the CWDT. The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) announced its final verdict on 5 February 2007, after 16 years. The Tribunal made the two agreements of 1892 and 1924 functional. According to the verdict, Tamil Nadu was supposed to get 419 billion ft³ of Cauvery water while Karnataka was supposed to get 270 billion ft³. But the Karnataka still didn’t release the water as per the tribunal ruling. On 19 September 2012, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and also the Chairman of the Cauvery River Authority, ordered Karnataka government to release around 9,000 cus... ... middle of paper ... ...sing rapidly.” Karnataka depends heavily on Cauvery to fulfil its drinking needs where as Tamil Nadu depends on Cauvery for irrigation. Wide scale Rice cultivation in Tamil Nadu is one of the reasons that Cauvery needs so much water. The question is why the food security of Tamil Nadu depends heavily on rice, as TN doesn’t have the resources to grow rice in such quantities. According to R K Sivanappan, former head of the Water Technology Centre of the Coimbatore Agricultural University, “Tamil Nadu could meet all its municipal water requirements by reducing the area under paddy cultivation by just 2 per cent from the present level of 2.7 million ha”. Bothe states should start looking for other methods to solve their water woes or should try to get into a mutual understanding, instead of politicising the issue. Nishant Sharma Radio Stream

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