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Tamil Nadu vs Karnataka: The Cauvery dispute timeline

Source: PTI
February 16, 2018 14:04 IST

Following is the chronology of events in the decades-old Cauvery water dispute matter in which the Supreme Court on Friday held that Karnataka will get 284.75 tmcft and Tamil Nadu 404.25 tmcft Cauvery water:

The original agreement, which was signed between the Madras Presidency and the princely State of Mysore in 1924, had lapsed in 1974.

May 1990: SC directs Centre to constitute Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal, a demand made by Tamil Nadu since 1970.

June 2: Centre notifies CWDT.

Jan 1991: CWDT rejects TN government’s plea for interim relief. TN appeals the rejection in SC.


April: SC directs the CWDT to entertain TN’s petition for interim relief.

June: CWDT announces interim award. Karnataka ordered to release 205 tmcft. Karnataka passes an Ordinance to nullify the order. SC intervenes, strikes down Karnataka’s ordinance and upholds the interim award of the CWDT. Karnataka refuses to oblige.

Dec 11: Interim award is published in the Government of India gazette.

Aug 1998: Centre constitutes Cauvery River Authority to ensure implementation of CWDT interim award.

Sep 8, 2002: CRA, chaired by the then Prime Minister A B Vajpayee, directs Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs (0.8 tmcft) of Cauvery water to TN.

Feb 5, 2007: CWDT gives final award after 17 years. Tribunal holds as valid the two agreements of 1892 and 1924 executed between the Madras Presidency and the princely State of Mysore on the apportionment of water to TN.

Sep 19, 2012: At the seventh CRA, then PM Manmohan Singh directs Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to TN at Biligundlu dam.

Sep 28: SC slams Karnataka government for not complying with PM’s direction at the CRA.

March 19, 2013: TN moves SC to give directions to water ministry for constitution of Cauvery Management Board.

May 10: SC directs Centre to set up panel to supervise Cauvery water release.

May 28: TN moves SC, seeks Rs 2,480 cr damages from Karnataka for not following orders of the CWDT.

June 12: Cauvery Supervisory Committee terms the TN’s plea for directions to Karnataka for release of Cauvery water as per the CWDT award as not feasible.

June 14: TN decides to file contempt plea against Karnataka for its stand on the Cauvery Supervisory Committee.

June 26: TN moves SC for constitution of CMB.

June 28: TN files contempt petition in the SC against Karnataka.

Nov 18, 2015: Karnataka objects to TN’s plea to release Cauvery water. Karnataka government tells SC that TN’s demand for release of 45.32 tmcft of Cauvery water proceeds from a wholly erroneous premise that the water year of 2015-16 in the Cauvery basin is a “normal year” and not a “distress year”.

Sep 2, 2016: SC asks Karnataka to consider taking steps to release Cauvery water to TN.          

Sep 5: SC directs Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to TN for next 10 days.           

Sep 7: Karnataka begins releasing Cauvery water to TN as per SC order. 

Sep 11: Karnataka files plea to modify SC order directing it to share water with TN.           

Sep 12: SC refuses plea by Karnataka to freeze the September 5 order. SC, however, reduces the quantum of daily water release ordered earlier, from 15,000 cusecs to 12,000 cusecs.           

Sep 19: CSC orders Karnataka to release 3,000 cubic feet of water per second (cusecs) for the rest of the month.           

July 14, 2017: SC says it would take a balanced view, keeping in mind the interests of the people of both the States. Karnataka sought a reduction in the quantum of Cauvery water it should release to TN from 192 tmcft to 132 tmcft.           

Sep 20: SC reserves verdict.           

Feb 16, 2018: SC pronounces final verdict, directs Karnataka to release 404.25 tmcft annually to TN which was earlier awarded 419 tmcft water by CWDT. Karnataka to now get enhanced 14.75 tmcft, ie 284.75 tmcft water. SC says its verdict on Cauvery water allocation will continue for next 15 years. 

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