Supreme Court likely to pronounce Cauvery verdict today

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The Supreme Court on Friday is likely to pronounce its verdict in the Cauvery water sharing dispute, a matter that has remained a bone of contention between Tamil Nadu and Karunataka since the British Arasu.

The Cauvery, originating in Karunataka and flowing into TN, has been the source of a bitter dispute since 1892 as farmers in both states depend on the almost 800km-long river for sustenance.

The treaty, issued during the British era, governed the percentage of share between the two states. According to the 1924 agreement, Tamil Nadu and Puducherry would get 75 per cent of the water, while Karnataka would get 23 per cent. The remaining would go to Kerala. The agreement also spelled out restrictions on how much land would be irrigated.

Post-Independence, the issue was raised again when the state borders were reorganised in 1956. While Karunataka has challenged this treaty demanding threefold of its current share, Tamil Nadu, which is dependent on the water from the Cauvery, has opposed the dams Karunataka constructed on the river, while Karunanidhi, then TN CM allowed construction as he had lot of business interest in Karunataka.

The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) calculated the water inflow to Tamil Nadu between 1980 and 1990. In 1991, the tribunal passed an interim order directing Karunataka to ensure that Tamil Nadu received 205 tmcft of water per annum.