New: The Supreme Court yesterday indicated that it would deliver within a month its verdict on the decades- old Cauvery Water Dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, saying enough confusion has been created on it for over two decades.
A Bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud said that any forum could touch the matter relating to the Cauvery basin only after it gave the verdict in four weeks.
A Bench of the Court had reserved its verdict on the appeals filed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala against the 2007 award of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT) on sharing of water, after marathon hearing, on September 20, 2017.
The Court’s announcement came after it heard a petition filed by a citizens’ group seeking its intervention to ensure the supply of drinking water to residents of Bengaluru and several other districts in Karnataka. Led by philanthropist Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the Bangalore Political Action Committee asked the Court to protect their right to life by ensuring they had access to adequate drinking water.
“This is indeed an alarming situation which requires urgent attention of the relevant authorities, and it is also the need of the hour that the present scenario is brought to the notice of this Court,” the Bengaluru-based group said in its petition.
The Cauvery water dispute has been going on for 22 years now. In 2016, there were widespread protests and subsequent violence in both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The water-sharing row had snowballed into a massive problem after the Supreme Court directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu. It had later modified its verdict and reduced the quantity to 12,000 cusecs, but the order led to widespread protests by farmers in Karnataka, who argued that the State needed the water more than its neighbour.