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SC refers Cauvery water dispute to larger bench
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SC refers Cauvery water dispute to larger bench

The Supreme Court on Monday referred the award of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal to a larger bench in the wake of some petitions complaining that it was arbitrary and discriminatory.

New Delhi, May 7 : The Supreme Court on Monday referred the award of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal to a larger bench in the wake of some petitions complaining that it was arbitrary and discriminatory.

Agitations have been taking place across Karnataka since the Tribunal announced the verdict early this year in the longstanding water dispute case with Tamil Nadu.

A Bench of Justice S B Sinha and Justice Markandey Katju also issued notices to the Centre, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry on the issue.

On April 23, the apex court had asked the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu Governments to find an amicable solution to the dispute.

The court had asked the parties concerned, including the Centre and the States, to sit together and work out an amicable solution instead of compelling the court to give a verdict in this regard.

The judges said that the Court verdict might not satisfy all sides concerned.

The Court added that every major city in the country is facing a severe water crisis and blamed that unchecked construction activity going on these cities is resulting in depletion of water sources.

After a long wait of 16 years, the Tribunal pronounced its verdict, giving 419 thousand million cubic (TMC) feet of water to Tamil Nadu and 270 TMC feet to Karnataka.

In addition to this, Kerala was given 30 TMC ft and Puducherry 7 TMC ft of water.

The ordered distribution was expected to conclude the decade-old deadlock over sharing of the Cauvery river water, which had remained unsolved despite the efforts, and the lack of it, of various governments on either side of the row.

The Tribunal was constituted on June 2, 1990 for settling the long-standing dispute. It came out with its interim award on June 25, 1991.

It was constituted by the VP Singh Government with retired Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court Chittatosh Mookerjee appointed as its Chairman. In 1999, Mookerjee resigned and N.P. Singh was appointed in his place. The other members of the Tribunal were N S Rao and Sudhir Narain.

It had reserved 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.

ANI

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