Follow Us:

Cauvery dispute: SC agrees to hear TN’s petition on CMB, DMK protests continue

Led by main opposition party, Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DMK), the protesters reportedly blocked roads in Chennai. Among the protesters were farmers and members of other fringe outfits.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear the contempt petition filed by the Tamil Nadu government against the Centre over the non-formation of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB).

Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that the court understands the problems of the state, which has been involved in a decades-long dispute over the sharing of the river water with Karnataka.

The apex court will hear the petition on 9 April.

Yet protests over the CMB continued across Tamil Nadu. Hundreds protested in Chennai, Coimbatore and other cities against the Centre and the AIADMK-led government.

Led by main opposition party, Dravida Munnetra Kazagham (DMK), the protesters reportedly blocked roads in Chennai. Among the protesters were farmers and members of other fringe outfits.

The police detained around 200 supporters of the party.

Two DMK leaders allegedly attempted self-immolation in Coimbatore. Acting quickly, the police foiled their attempt and reportedly took them to the police station.

Opposition parties in the state have come together to condemn the alleged ‘failure’ of the Centre in implementing the 16 February order of Supreme Court.

On Sunday, DMK working president MK Stalin was detained with leaders of other parties following protests in Chennai against the Centre and the state government. The opposition parties in Tamil Nadu continue to accuse Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami’s government of failing to make the Modi government constitute the CMB within the deadline given by the apex court.

Following a meeting with leaders of other parties, Stalin announced that they have agreed for a state-wide shutdown on 5 April. He also asked all sections of society, including farmers and traders, to join the shutdown call.

“We have begun a struggle in Chennai with the party leaders and volunteers to condemn the Centre and state governments. Our struggle will not stop until the Cauvery Management Board is formed,” he said.

He added that following the bandh, a “Cauvery rights retrieval yatra” will be organised by the parties from the Cauvery Delta region.

Supporters of the parties agreed to hold black flag demonstrations whenever Prime Minister Narendra Modi or any member of his Cabinet visits Tamil Nadu. Modi is reportedly expected to visit on 15 April.

The apex court, in a judgment on 16 February, had given the Modi government a time of six weeks to form the CMB, the deadline to which expired on 29 March.

On Saturday, the Tamil Nadu government filed a contempt petition against the Centre accusing it of “wilful disobedience” and deliberate delaying of the implementation of the Supreme Court order.

Read More: Tamil Nadu files contempt petition against Centre in Supreme Court

But the Centre, too, had moved the apex court on Friday to seek a clarification and asking for three months for implementing its judgment in view of the May assembly elections in Karnataka. The Centre claimed that any move in the direction of the formation of CMB might lead to public outrage in Karnataka and create a law and order situation during the election process.

The Judgment

In its judgment on 16 February, the Supreme Court reduced Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water and increased Karnataka’s share.

The apex court directed the Karnataka government to release 177.25 tmcft of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from its inter-state Biligundlu dam.

The Supreme Court raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu’s share while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin, saying the issue of drinking water has to be placed on a “higher pedestal”.

The CMB, once formed, is expected to take control of the dams across river Cauvery through which it will distribute waters to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry according to the formula of the Cauvery tribunal.

Tamil Nadu has been demanding creation of the board so that it can be granted the power to open up reservoirs instead of the Karnataka government.