It can be presumed that the Supreme Court on February 16 this year of 2018 has resolved the 137 year old water sharing dispute originated during British period between the princely State Mysore and Madras Presidency. After Independence it became interstate dispute between changed names of the state of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. It was a political and administrative headache for Central Government for so long period.
Now the Supreme Court amending the award of Cauvery Tribunal reduced the water share of Tamil Nadu, increased marginally the water share of Karnataka taking into the account drinking water supply for Bangaluru from the Cauvery river.
There is no change in the share of Kerala and Puducherry. The Centre on political administrative and judicial levels took many recourse to resolve this dispute but all the time this or that party expressed dissatisfaction and dispute continued.
The Central Government in 1990 set up the Cauvery River Water Dispute Tribunal and it after 17 years long deliberations gave the award in 2007 allocating river water shares of concerned states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry. Strangely all these four states expressed dissatisfaction on Tribunal Award and filed appeals against it in the Supreme Court.
Now the Supreme Court has reallocated the share among the states. But this time the Supreme Court has also declared that rivers are national asset and cannot belong to any one state. The Supreme Court decision is a national decision and the Supreme Court has fixed the responsibility of its implementation on the Central Government.
The Court said that the conclusions of the judgment shall prevail for next 15 years. If need be it can be reviewed after that period. Now for any reasons like violence in the states and opposition by states if this the judgment could not be enforced and applied it will lead to a contempt of court proceedings against the Central Government.
The Cauvery river has its origin in Karnataka and flows through the Tamil Nadu submerging in the Bay of Bengal. The area of Cauvery basin the catchment areas is 32,000 square kilometer in the Karnataka and in Tamil Nadu the Cauvery Basin area of 44,000 square kilometers.
A very large portion of paddy cultivation in the Tamil Nadu solely depends on Cauvery water, the same is the situation in Karnataka. In the dispute the Supreme Court has very aptly said the river cannot be sole right of property of any state exclusively. It is a natural and national flow of its own identity and state territory or boundary cannot be applied to that effects on the river - the gift of a nature.
India and many other countries have international rivers like Sindh and other Punjab rivers with Pakistan the Satluj and Brahmaputra with China, the Mekong is international river in South Eastern Nations and Denube in the Europe flows between many countries. The nature and geography cannot be divided among the nations. It are just political demarcations.