Down to Earth

140-year-old conflict

Water-sharing agreements, committees and tribunals have failed to resolve the Cauvery dispute


1872 | First inter-state water-sharing agreement between Mysore and the Madras Presidency 1924 | Second watershari­ng agreement for the next 50 years 1960s | Karnataka proposes to build new reservoirs. The Centre rejects the plan. The state still builds four reservoirs 1970s | Cauvery Fact Finding Committee set up in anticipati­on of the ending of the agreement in 1974. Its final report came in 1976 which was accepted by all the states. But when Karnataka began constructi­on of the Harangi dam, Tamil Nadu went to court 1980s | Litigation­s, conflicts and negotiatio­n between the parties continue 1990 | Supreme Court directs the Centre to constitute Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT) 1991 | CWDT announces an interim award. Orders Karnataka to release water. In a move to nullify the interim awards, the Karnataka government passes an ordinance "to protect" irrigation in the "irrigable areas" of the Cauvery. Supreme Court strikes down the ordinance; upholds the CWDT award. Karnataka refuses to oblige 1993 | Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalith­aa goes on fast, demanding the state's share as stipulated by the interim order 1998 | Centre constitute­s Cauvery River Authority to ensure implementa­tion of the interim award of CWDT 2002 | Cauvery River Authority chaired by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee directs Karnataka to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu unhappy with the order, says will move the

Supreme Court 2005 | Karnataka refuses to implement the distress-sharing formula 2007 | CWDT gives final award, calling the agreements of 1872 and 1924 executed between Madras and Mysore as valid. Karnataka protests 2015 | Jayalalith­aa writes to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to advise Karnataka to release water. Karnataka refuses to release water since it Sept 2, 2016 | The Supreme Court asks Karnataka to consider releasing water to Tamil Nadu to help the state

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