Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Agreements of 1892, 1924 held valid - Cauvery Tribunal

Agreements of 1892, 1924 held valid : Cauvery Tribunal

Legal Correspondent

New Delhi: The Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal on Monday held as valid the two agreements of 1892 and 1924 executed between the Governments of Madras and Mysore on the apportionment of water to Tamil Nadu. It said the latest order would supersede the agreements of 1892 and 1924 so far as it related to the Cauvery river system.

It was Tamil Nadu's consistent stand that the two agreements should form the basis of apportionment. It also argued that, while doing so the Tribunal must take into consideration the irrigation area developed up to 1924; the area developed between 1924 and 1974 as per the agreement; the area contemplated by the agreement but developed between 1974 and 1990, and the potential irrigation area thereafter. But Karnataka maintained that the agreements, between the princely State of Mysore and the imperial government of the Madras Presidency, were not valid and binding on Karnataka.

The Tribunal accepted Tamil Nadu's stand. It said that "the agreements which were executed between the then governments of Mysore and Madras cannot be held to be invalid, especially after a lapse of about more than 110 and 80 years respectively."

It said: "Before the execution of the two agreements, there was full consultation between the then governments of Madras and Mysore. However, the agreement of 1924 provides for review of some of the clauses after 1974. Accordingly, we have reviewed and re-examined various provisions of the agreement on the principles of just and equitable apportionment."

The order said: "Use of water shall be measured by the extent of its depletion of the waters of the river Cauvery including its tributaries in any manner whatsoever; the depletion would also include the evaporation losses from the reservoirs. The storage in any reservoir across any stream of the Cauvery River System except the annual evaporation losses shall form part of the available water."

It added: "The water diverted from any reservoir by a State for its own use during any water year shall be reckoned as use by that State in that water year. The measurement for domestic and municipal water supply, as also the industrial use, shall be made in the following manner: Domestic and municipal water supply: by 20 per cent of the quantity of water diverted or lifted from the river or any of its tributaries or from any reservoir, storage or canal; industrial use: by 2.5 per cent of the quantity of water diverted or lifted from the river or any of its tributaries or from any reservoir, storage or canal."

The order says that the "inability of any State to make use of some portion of the water allocated to it during any water year shall not constitute forfeiture or abandonment of its share of water in any subsequent water year, nor shall it increase the share of other State in the subsequent year is such State has used that water."

© Copyright 2000 - 2006 The Hindu

Date:06/02/2007 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/2007/02/06/stories/2007020603811000.htm

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