SC wants CMs to settle water row

SC wants CMs to settle water row

The Supreme Court on Monday suggested a meeting between the chief ministers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, along with experts, to resolve the Cauvery water dispute amicably.

A bench of justices D K Jain and Madan B Lokur said the meeting may help to arrive at a decision on the contentious issue, keeping in mind the larger interest of the farmers.

“We cannot force any decision on them but it (the meeting) has to be taken in a congenial atmosphere. Both the states should take decisions keeping in view the larger interests of the farmers from both states. Why the two chief ministers can not sit together and have a meaningful dialogue? Give it a try, it is not impossible,” the bench said.

The court said it did not just mean a “simple exchange of pleasantries over a cup of coffee.” Instead, it wanted deliberation by the two chief ministers.

“They should try to find out a solution through give and take,” the bench said. “It is not possible for us to ask the prime minister to have a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) every now and then. He has several other important things to do as well. Hence, the state governments should meet and find a solution.”Senior advocate Fali S Nariman, who represented Karnataka, agreed to the court’s suggestion. Nariman said he will impress upon the Karnataka chief minister to have a meeting with his Tamil Nadu counterpart.

During the hearing, he submitted that a meeting of the Cauvery Monitoring Committee was slated for November 28. However, the counsel appearing for Tamil Nadu said he will have to take instructions on the court’s suggestion. The matter has been posted for further hearing on Friday.

In a fresh plea, Tamil Nadu sought direction to Karnataka to release 52.8 tmcft of water till February 2013, so that it could protect crops spread across 15 lakh acres. The state also wanted the court to properly define “season,” to ensure that adequate water was released.

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