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Cauvery tribunal to give final verdict on Monday
February 04, 2007 19:28 IST
The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal will pronounce its final order on Monday, bringing to an end a 16-year-long process to resolve the inter-state dispute over sharing of the river waters among Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry.
Constituted on June 2, 1990, the tribunal gave its interim award on June 25, 1991, directing Karnataka to release 205 tmcft of water every year to Tamil Nadu.
There has been constant friction between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on the Cauvery waters issue, which assumes sharp political tones quite often which is often resolved by the bounty of monsoons.
The tribunal, comprising Chairman Justice N P Singh and members N S Rao and Sudhir Narain, reserved the verdict on July 27 last year at the conclusion of marathon proceedings on various aspects of the dispute, namely allocation of water as per crop requirements, the cropping pattern and the mechanism for implementation of the final award.
During arguments, Tamil Nadu had urged the tribunal to pass the final award, allocating 562 tmcft as its share. In its perception, Karnataka's requirement, based on a scientific assessment, was only 175 tmcft.
Tamil Nadu also wanted the tribunal to set up an authority for administering and controlling all specified reservoirs in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to ensure timely release of the due share of waters to each state as per the final award.
With the final verdict of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal set to be delivered on Monday, Cauvery Family, a forum of the delta farmers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, has appealed to the people of both the states to exercise restraint.
In a resolution adopted during its recently held ninth committee meeting, they requested the people of the riparian states "to exercise restraint, come whatever be the verdict."
"The Cauvery Family eagerly looks forward to the final verdict with an open mind," said S Janakarajan, convenor of the forum, which has been making efforts to bring the farmers to a common platform to find a solution to the vexed problem through mediation and dialogue since April 2003.
From a point when the farmers of both the states would not see eye-to-eye, the family has gone a long way in establishing friendship between them, claimed Prof Janakarajan of the Madras Institute of Developmental Studies.
Some farmer leaders from Karnataka, who had even declared that "only blood would flow through Cauvery", and equally hostile Tamil Nadu farmers could be brought under one roof for talks, he added.
The Cauvery river dispute has been a burning issue since the early 1970s. Several rounds of talks between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka had failed to arrive at an amicable solution over the 1924 agreement signed by the then Madras Presidency and the state of Mysore.
Karnataka maintained that the 1924 agreement entailed discontinuation of water supply to Tamil Nadu after 50 years in 1974. However, Tamil Nadu asserted that it was valid till another agreement was made or the present one renewed.