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India-Pakistan ties: Modi’s birthday wishes to Sharif don’t signal policy change

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote a post in his Twitter account on Sunday:

His birthday wishes to his Pakistani counterpart have rekindled hopes that the stalled negotiations between India and Pakistan are about to resume. At least this, a section in the Pakistani press believes.

In fact, Pakistan’s Express Tribune has quoted an Indian diplomat in today’s edition saying that the Indian premier might review his current strategy towards Pakistan and offer another ‘olive branch’, possibly after state elections in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, scheduled to be held in March. The Indian diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Pakistani publication, said that although the current public sentiment was not in favour of talks with Pakistan unless the issue of alleged cross-border terrorism was addressed, Modi knew how to galvanise public opinion.

“Whenever he (Modi) makes any overture to Pakistan, rest assured it will not be half-hearted,” the diplomat is quoted to have said.

Incidentally, last Friday, India’s external affairs ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup had said that India was prepared for talks with Pakistan, provided the latter ensured a peaceful atmosphere. “We have never refused talks, but Pakistan has to ensure a peaceful atmosphere. Pakistan needs to stop supporting terrorism. Pakistan should create a healthy atmosphere for talks,” he had said. In other words, the spokesman had clearly pointed out preconditions that Pakistan must fulfill before the resumption of bilateral talks by the two countries’ diplomats.

Against this background, how does one view Modi offering an olive branch through his birthday wishes? First of all, was it an olive branch at all as the Pakistani press suggests? Any answer to this question should be viewed in a historical context.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif. AFP

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Pakistani counterpart Nawaz Sharif. AFP

India and Pakistan have fought four times, threatened each other many a time and quarrel most of the time. In between, they have talked of peace, negotiated some confidence building measures (CBMs) such as Liaqat-Nehru Pact (1950), Indus Water Treaty (1960), Simla Agreement (1972), Lahore Declaration (1999), Lahore-Delhi Bus Service, the “cricket diplomacy,” the resumption of the dialogue (Composite Bilateral Dialogue) between Pakistan and India in 2004. But then some crisis or other – in the form of war or a war-like situation – emerges. As a result, all the CBMs become null and void, the notable exceptions being the Indus water sharing treaty, the annual exchanges of the lists each other’s nuclear installations and notifying each other in advance in respect of ballistic missile flight tests.

And when the environment becomes little more manageable, mostly due to pressure from the civil society in both the countries and international demands, their leaders once again renegotiate, mainly to restore some of the CBMs that existed earlier. But again a new crisis in their bilateral relations invariably emerges. So the cycle goes on.

The above pattern has been noticed under the Modi regime too. Case in point: Remember how Modi had invited Sharif for his swearing-in ceremony. It was under his regime that last year (6 December) Indian and Pakistani officials, led by their respective national security advisers (Ajit Doval of India and Lt Gen (Retd) Nasser Khan Janjua of Pakistan) met at the neutral venue of Bangkok “secretly” to facilitate the foreign minister Sushma Swaraj’s visit to Pakistan on 8 December (even though it was shown as attending the Heart of Asia Conference). The Bangkok parley, perhaps, was the first instance of Indian and Pakistan officials utilising a neutral venue.

Going by the joint press release of the Bangkok meeting, “Discussions covered peace and security, terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, and other issues, including tranquility along the LoC.” In other words, the talks, which lasted about four hours dealt with all important issues pertaining to bilateral relations. And that explains why though led by the NSAs, the talks also included the two foreign secretaries – S Jaishankar and his Pakistani counterpart Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhary.

However, the biggest peace gesture on the part of Modi was his stop-over at Lahore and a visit to Pakistan Prime Minister’s House there on 25 December last year on his return journey to Delhi from Kabul. For this gesture, Modi was criticised vehemently by the opposition parties in the country. But all these “peace overtures” of the Modi regime did not lead to the intended results.

Maybe Nawaz Sharif was helpless in reciprocating Modi’s sentiments, given Pakistan’s peculiar decision-making structure in which, it is the Army, not the elected leadership, that dictates the country’s policy towards India. And the results were there to be seen – terrorist attacks in Pathankot, Uri, Nagrota; relentless ceasefire violations on the line of control by Pakistan; and the months-long civil uprisings in the Kashmir valley sponsored by the Pakistani establishment.

But then, all this has been only one part of the story.

The other part of the story has been that unlike his predecessors, Modi has brought about some significant changes in the nuances in his approach towards Pakistan in this atmosphere of “no-talks”.

Whereas all his predecessors, including his party’s Atal Bihari Vajpayee, had only stressed on “Pakistan’s international isolation” following every major terrorists attack on India, Modi has gone steps ahead and simultaneously pursued threats and retaliatory measures against Pakistan. He has talked openly about Pakistan’s vulnerabilities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan; exposed Pakistan’s misdeeds in Pak-occupied- Kashmir, including Gilgit-Baltistan; and suggested the possibility of relooking at Indus-Water sharing treaty, hitherto considered unimaginable. Above all, the Modi government took a strategic decision at the apex level to go across the “Line of Control” to strike at the multiple terrorist bases simultaneously(so-called surgical strikes), as distinct from the previous routine retaliatory raids on other sides , all tactical decisions taken at the local commanders’ levels.

In other words, Modi is pursuing, to borrow American scholar Sumit Ganguly’s phrase, a ‘strategy of deterrence by punishment’, which implies that “Any time Pakistan provokes, be prepared to exact a cost”. The idea here is that if Pakistan realises that its misadventure against India has a cost involved(which Modi’s predecessors were not firm enough to extract), then it may be deterred. Of course, Ganguly, who has authored the recently released book titled “Deadly Impasse: Indo-Pakistani Relations at the Dawn of a New Century”, cautions that there is always that uncertain threshold of nuclear blackmail by Pakistan in this approach, but then “the strategy of deterrence by punishment” is worth pursuing.

And finally, in my considered view the most important change that has marked India’s policy towards Pakistan under Modi is questioning the very formula that was evolved by the then I K Gujral regime – the formula of pursuing the so-called “composite dialogue” that is aimed at building confidence building measures (CBMs) and “simultaneously” solving the “core disputes”, which for Pakistan is the solution of the so-called Kashmir dispute and for India is ending cross-border terrorism.

This is a formula that has not been practiced by two contending powers anywhere in the diplomatic history of the world. The CBMs are first attained so as to make the atmosphere conducive for the solution of the dispute; they lead to the solution, not otherwise. If there is the solution of the dispute or there is no dispute, the CBMs are redundant. That is why India and China ( or any other rivals, say the USA and the then USSR during the Cold War) have always said that the eventual solution of the boundary dispute will follow improvement in bilateral relations pertaining to other areas. But in case of India-Pakistan impasse, one sees this ridiculous composite dialogue approach that talks of development of the CBMs and solution of the core disputes “simultaneously”.

Therefore, the Modi government is right when it demands that Pakistan must stop supporting terrorism before normalcy is restored in bilateral relations. The Kashmir issue should not cloud the resolution of other irritants and that the best way to resolve the Kashmir issue is creating a conducive environment, which, so goes its logic, is possible when these “other irritants” – cultural and economic interactions, combating terrorism and transparency in nuclear weapons related matters etc. – are resolved.

This being the reality, what about the question whether or not the Modi government going to resume talks with Pakistan? Talks or no talks, Islamabad cannot satisfy New Delhi’s concerns over terrorism – in fact, it will never say that “terrorists” in Kashmir are not “freedom fighters”. On India’s part, it cannot satisfy Pakistan’s expectations in Kashmir – No government in Delhi will ever have courage to say that Kashmir is not the “inseparable “ part of India. In other words, there is that problem of “trust deficit” between the two countries. And as long as this deficit is there, the two countries will continue to engage in diplomatic shadowboxing, the intensity of which may vary from time to time.

First Published On : Dec 26, 2016 18:39 IST

Indus Water Treaty: Pakistan urges World Bank to fulfill its obligation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan in a letter has urged the World Bank to fulfill its role regarding the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) and move ahead with the appointment of a Chairman of the Court of Arbitration.The letter written by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar to World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, was in response to the latter’s letter of December 12 and their decision to pause the process of empanelment of the Court of Arbitration, reports the Radio Pakistan.Dar, said in his letter, that this decision of the World Bank will seriously prejudice Pakistan’s interests and rights under the Indus Waters Treaty 1960.The letter to Kim has been sent with approval of all concerned stakeholders. It strongly conveys that the matter of appointment of a Chairman of the Court of Arbitration has been inordinately delayed. It urged the World Bank to execute its obligations under the Indus Waters Treaty.The Finance Minister noted that the pause proposed by the World Bank President will merely prevent Pakistan from approaching a competent forum and having its grievances addressed.The letter noted that the Indus Waters Treaty 1960 does not provide for a situation wherein a Party can “pause” performance of its obligations under the Treaty.Earlier this month, the World Bank asked both India and Pakistan to consider alternative ways to resolve their disagreements over the Indus Water Treaty Dispute 1960.The bank said it is temporarily halting the appointment of a neutral expert as requested by India, and the Chairman of the Court of Arbitration, as requested by Pakistan, to resolve issues regarding two hydroelectric power plants under construction by India along the Indus Rivers system.

Cauvery row: Karnataka to release 2000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu till Jan 4

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Thursday said that the interim order of court on Cauvery Water Disputes would continue till January 4, 2017 and Karnataka would have to release 2000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu. Earlier on December 9, the top court upheld its constitutional power and right to hear appeals filed by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala against the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal final award in 2007.A three-judge Bench headed by Supreme Court Justice Dipak Misra rejected the Centre’s stand that the apex court had no jurisdiction to hear the Cauvery river dispute. The Centre had argued that the parliamentary law of Inter-State Water Disputes Act of 1956 coupled with Article 262 (2) of the Indian Constitution excluded the Supreme Court from hearing or deciding any appeals against the Cauvery Tribunal’s decision. The Centre claimed the tribunal award was final.The Centre said it was left to the government to frame a scheme for implementation of the tribunal award, and the scheme, once prepared, would be placed before both Houses of the Parliament for approval.The tribunal in its final award had determined the usable quantum of water of the Cauvery at 740 tmcft. Karnataka is entitled to 270 tmcft, Tamil Nadu to 419 tmcft, Kerala 30 tmcft, Puducherry 7 tmcft, and 14 tmcft is meant for environmental purposes, the tribunal had said.All three states have opposed the Centre’s stand, contending that a parliamentary law cannot stop the Supreme Court from exercising its constitutional power to hear appeals.The bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and AM Khanwilkar had on October 19 reserved its order on maintainability of appeals filed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala against the 2007 award of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT).In its review petition, Karnataka said “grave miscarriage of justice” has been caused to it pursuant to the three apex court orders of September 20, 27 and 30, by which it was directed to release 6000 cusecs of water till October 6 and the Centre was to constitute the Board by October 4.

The toxic waters of religion

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as numerous steps are being taken towards cleaning the Ganga, Yamuna, and other rivers, researchers continue to suggest that various religious practices are responsible for polluting the holy waters on a much larger scale than toxic industrial waste.While yagnas (fire rituals), days of fasting, and walking barefoot to the shrine make up most Hindu activities, taking a ‘dip’ in ‘holy water’ to wash away the sins of mortals is a ritual often followed during various festivals. Even the immersion of deities after keeping them for days at home is another ritual causing damage to rivers.Every time a pilgrim takes a ‘holy’ dip in those river, they swallow copious amounts of toxic material flushed from power plants or the waste thrown in the river.In the latest trend, Chath puja in Delhi was observed by taking a dip in the pond at India Gate or at the already polluted Yamuna where huge idols of Lord Ganesha and Goddess Kali are also immersed every year. During the month of September, devotees flock to the beaches of Mumbai with thousands of Ganesh idols for immersion, days after which the idols often wash up on shore.Also, cremated remains are floated in the river, believing the dead will not attain salvation if the last remains are not immersed. This practice is adding to the woes of the rising problem of water pollution. According to a Rishikesh based NGO, Ganga Action Parivar, “When the river in Har Ki Pauri, Haridwar is cleaned for two months we collect a large quantity of wastes like matki, plastic bags, garlands, coins, etc. Not only this, Hindu’s mostly cremate ashes here. But these don’t harm the river as much as the idols made of cement, plastic, and other non-eco friendly things does which are dumped in the river. It resists the flow of water and makes it stagnant. The only way to prevent this is to use eco-friendly idols.”Poor Hindu pilgrims stand at their makeshift campsite. Devotees believe that taking a holy dip in the Ganges washes away their sins and paves the path to salvation. —Getty Images There are some religions which follow the practice of floating the dead bodies in the river which are then eaten by crocodiles. But with the increasing pollution even the habitat of crocodiles has been disturbed hugely. As a result, bodies now get stuck in the river plants or float to the banks adding to the degradation.“The bodies that are floated in the water to make sure it gains eternity, actually get stuck on the banks and infect the river and creates an imbalance to the ecosystem of the river,” said Vineet of Ganga Action Parivar.The Ganga was known to have self-cleansing effect but with the continuous abuse the losing its charm. According to Rakesh, a taxi driver from Uttar Pradesh residing in Mumbai, there is nothing wrong with the Ganga. “It is always needed and is done for good. Ganga can never be dirty, it is holy. Ganga water is used to cure all types of diseases and wash away sins,” he said.Water pollution experts estimate that around 32k human corpses are cremated each year in the Ganges river, Varanasi — GETTY IMAGESExpressing dismay over the deteriorating condition of Ganga, Saurav Tiwari a student of Benaras Hindu University said, “The Ganga river is not in a good shape. Along with industries, various religious practices have also joined hands in slowly poisoning the river.”Not only Ganga but the Yamuna in Delhi and the Mula Mutha in Pune get religiously polluted in the months of September and October.India’s chief sources of water are becoming increasingly unsafe for drinking and for aquatic life. The idea of implementing artificial ponds for devotees to take a dip and other alternatives have never seen the light of the day.

Indus Water treaty: Pakistan to approach India by December-end to resolve disagreements

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Pakistan will approach India by the end of this month to address its concerns on the Ratle and Kishanganga projects, a day after the World Bank paused the separate processes initiated by the two sides under the Indus Water Treaty to allow them to resolve their disagreements, according to a media report on Wednesday.”Pakistan’s Indus Water Commissioner would establish a telephonic contact with his Indian counterpart till the end of this month and ask him to address Islamabad’s concerns on the design of Ratle and Kishanganga projects,” The Nation said.Citing official sources, the paper said Pakistan will again approach World Bank in February “if India refuses to accept our demands for change in design of the projects or tries to use delaying tactics.”In September, the World Bank, which had mediated the Indus Water Treaty, had said it was approached by India and Pakistan and it is “responding in its limited, procedural role as set out in the treaty”.The bank said the Indus Waters Treaty, 1960, is seen as one of the most successful international treaties and has withstood frequent tensions between India and Pakistan, including conflict.India had taken strong exception last month to the World Bank’s decision to set up a Court of Arbitration and appoint a Neutral Expert to go into Pakistan’s complaint against it over Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric projects in Jammu and Kashmir.”We are announcing this pause to protect the Indus Waters Treaty and to help India and Pakistan consider alternative approaches to resolving conflicting interests under the Treaty and its application to two hydroelectric power plants,” World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim said yesterday.”We have decided in principle to re-approach India, but will not compromise our position. We also fear India will not change the design of projects according to the treaty,” an official told the paper, seeking anonymity.Pakistan’s former law minister and Supreme Court lawyer Barrister Ahmer Bilal Soofi said the historic Indus Water Treaty was perpetual and cannot be terminated unilaterally.Speaking at a seminar on ‘Pakistan-India: Avoiding a Water War’ organised by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI), Soofi said time had come that Pakistani engineers and lawyers need to sit together to interpret the Indus Water Treaty in a holistic manner.

Cauvery row: ‘Jayalalithaa’s efforts have been rewarded by SC,’ says TN PWD Principal Secretary

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With the Supreme Court upholding the maintainability of appeals filed by states including Tamil Nadu against a 2007 tribunal verdict on Cauvery water sharing, the state government said on Saturday it was “grand victory for the untiring efforts” of former chief minister Jayalalithaa.PWD Principal Secretary SK Prabakar said the water dispute had been going on for a long time between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and recalled that the two states besides Kerala had earlier moved the apex court against the 2007 award of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal on sharing the river water. He recalled the efforts by Jayalalithaa on the Cauvery issue, including “waging a legal battle” to get the 2007 final award published in a Central gazette in 2013, thus “upholding Tamil Nadu’s rights”.Her government had moved the apex court again in August, seeking direction to Karnataka to release Tamil Nadu’s share of water, following which it gave regular directions to the upper riparian state on this matter, he said. “Today, a three-judge bench had held all appeals maintainable, while holding that its interim order on releasing 2000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu continues till further orders,” he said in a statement. “This is a grand victory to the untiring efforts of Puratchi Thalaivi Amma (Jayalalitha),” he added.
ALSO READ Cauvery water dispute: SC upholds maintainability of appeals by Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, KeralaThe three-judge bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra had said all appeals filed by the south Indian states against the tribunal’s award were maintainable, though the Centre had asserted that the apex court had no jurisdiction to hear appeals against the award of the tribunal. “We hold all the appeals maintainable. Interim order to continue. List the matter for further hearing on December 15,” the three-judge bench had said.On October 18, the apex court had directed Karnataka to keep supplying Tamil Nadu with 2,000 cusecs of water till further orders. DMK welcomed the apex court holding that its interim order on releasing 2000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu will continue and expressed happiness over Supreme Court saying that the appeals against the 2007 verdict were maintainable. Party Treasurer and Tamil Nadu Opposition Leader MK Stalin urged the state government to press the Centre on immediately constituting the Cauvery Management Board.

Jayalalithaa and the ‘Amma’ brand of schemes

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Freebies galore and populist schemes under the popular ‘Amma’ brand became the hallmark of late Jayalalithaa’s tenure as Chief Minister, helping her steamroll arch-rival M Karunanidhi’s DMK in this year’s Assembly polls.From the Amma canteens to Amma gymnasiums and parks, the brand became synonymous with her name. Karunanidhi may have revolutionised the freebies culture in Tamil Nadu but Jayalalithaa mastered the art right under his nose, showering a slew of freebies in 2011 and 2016 on voters.However, Jayalalithaa always took exception to the term ‘freebies’ and chose to call them free of cost, insisting that the populist schemes were aimed only at helping the lower rung masses. In the battle of freebies that intensified in 2006, Karunanidhi’s masterstroke of free colour TV scheme among others launched DMK into the ruling saddle but in 2011 and 2016, Jayalalithaa emerged triumphant wooing voters with her own brand of welfare schemes.Combined with anti-incumbency, Jayalalithaa checkmated Karunanidhi in the 2011 elections with a slew of announcements including providing free rice, laptops to students, milch cows and goats, mixer-grinder, and gold for ‘thali’ (mangal sutra) and pushed DMK into the third place in the Assembly, making then ally DMDK main opposition. Jayalalithaa further consolidated her welfare icon image with her Amma brand subsidy-oriented schemes like Amma Canteen, Amma Mineral Water, Amma cement and Amma salt.During the 2016 elections, Jayalalithaa expanded her populist portfolio, including free 100 units of power for domestic users, free mobile phones and 50% subsidy for women to buy two-wheelers.She subsequently led her party to a historic successive term in May 2016 Assembly polls, breaking a 32-year-old jinx where a ruling party could seldom retain power.

Group fights gender gap in water use in Rajasthan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The mores of a patriarchal society make themselves evident in a number of ways —from rules about the conduct of women to gender imbalance in boardrooms. Women in Rajasthan, however, are battling a very different set of problems, one that concerns the use of water.A precious commodity in the desert state, water is first given to the men in the family to use, followed by household chores, even though it’s mostly women who fetch it after walking for kilometres. So much so that some women have to go without a bath in the arid region for days on end.Centre for Social Research (CSR), a non-profit organisation from Delhi, has been attempting to change that dynamic through its Water Conservation and Climate Change Training Programme for rural Rajasthan. The programme is being conducted across different villages in Sanganer, Bhimwal, and Sirohi, among other areas.The programme targets all orders of the hierarchy — from housewives to women representatives, including panches and councillors — to spread awareness regarding the connection between water and gender equality. The idea was the brainchild of CSR head Ranjana Kumari and Hanns Seidel Foundation, which is funding the project.Launched in 2013, the project has young members, all in the age group of 22-30 years, who cover more than 300 houses and over 30 clusters.“We came across some shocking facts during our need assessment surveys involving tribal women. For instance, even though they were the ones fetching water for the entire family, men would be given preference, followed by household chores. Some even confessed to going without a bath for days,” said Project Coordinator Ritika Bhatia. This imbalance spilled over into their personal hygiene and health as well, she added.During the course of the programme, the team also found that the women were not too forthcoming about the hardships they suffered. “They were visibly embarrassed. But they said that walking endlessly to get some water was a natural part of their lives,” said Bhatia, who further said that discussing this disparity was the project’s first step.The women were made aware of their rights and how they were equal shareholders in water consumption, limited quantity notwithstanding. The approach, however, was kept subtle and friendly, involving elders and elected representatives of the community. The four-module programme then moved on to the necessity of water conservation and the issue of climate change, with videos on health and hygiene interspersed in between.The efforts are already showing results, breaking down not only gender but caste barriers as well, claimed another team member Pratishtha Arora. “They have become more assertive in their demands for water. I clearly remember how a tribal woman forced the Gram Sabha to bring a water supply near her house, something which is not usual in Rajasthan, given their sharp caste dynamics and repressive environment,” she said.Almost three years into the project, the group said they have become more aware of the sheltered and privileged life they themselves lead. “We take so much for granted till we come across those who have nothing. I have realised how blessed I am after meeting these women and hearing their stories,” Arora said.WATER FOR ALLThe programme is being conducted across different villages in Sanganer, Bhimwal, and Sirohi, among other areas.It targets housewives to women representatives, including panches and councillors. The project has young members all in the age group of 22-30 years

Hope India, Pakistan will resolve water issue themselves: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has expressed hope that India and Pakistan will bilaterally resolve issues over water-sharing, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the waters of Sutlej, Beas and Ravi rivers that rightfully belong to India will be stopped from going waste in Pakistan.”We will take a look at the issue on water. Obviously, we hope it’s something that the two parties can resolve themselves,” Ban’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters at the daily press briefing here yesterday when asked about Modi’s remarks on the Indus Water Treaty amid escalating tensions between the two nations.Addressing a rally in Punjab last week, Modi had said the waters of Sutlej, Beas and Ravi rivers that rightfully belong to India will be stopped from going waste in Pakistan and he will ensure that Indian farmers in India utilise it. PTI YAS “Now, every drop of this water will be stopped and I will give that to farmers of Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir and Indian farmers. I am committed to this,” he had said.Last week, during a Security Council debate on water, peace and security, Ban had cited the Indus Water Treaty signed by India and Pakistan as well as other similar agreements “as instruments promoting stability and peace” and said “shared water resources often generated cooperation”.During the debate, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi had warned against use of water as instrument of coercion or war.She had said the 1960 Indus Water Treaty is an example of what can be achieved through bilateral agreements but also a case study of what could wrong if such agreements are not honoured or threatened with abrogation by a state party.Separately, Ban had also expressed deep concern last week over the deterioration of the situation along the Line of Control in Kashmir in recent days, saying he “trusts” India and Pakistan can find “common ground” and work towards a sustainable peace.The UN Chief had called on all involved to prioritise the restoration of calm and stability in order to prevent any further escalation and loss of life.When asked during the briefing about Indian-Pakistan tensions at the border, Dujarric referred to Ban’s remarks saying the increasing tensions over the Line of Control are of “great concern to the Secretary General”.

Punjab polls 2017: Modi plays Pakistan card, promises more water to farmers

Prime Minister Narendra Modi knows when and where to raise an issue. The prime minister who was in Bhatinda to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony of a new Aiims hospital made maximum use of the opportunity to do some pre-poll promotion for the Bhartiya Janata Party, highlighting his party’s stand on some burning topics like the Indus Water Treaty and how the government has given a befitting reply to Pakistan after the Uri attack in September.

While stressing on the need for farmers to get an adequate supply of water, Modi said that India has the right to use the water flowing to Pakistan under the Indus Water Treaty, “The water is India’s right which flows into Pakistan. (After) flowing through Pakistan, the water goes into the sea. That water belongs to the Indian farmers. We will do whatever we can to give enough water to our farmers,” Modi said, IANS reported on Friday.

File image of Narendra Modi. PTI

File image of Narendra Modi. PTI

Punjab has been facing water scarcity for some years now with a depleting ground water level, and an ongoing tussle with the state of Haryana on sharing water from river Sutlej as part fo the Sutlej Yamnua Link canal, which Punjab has been resisting to build. So far parties like Shiromani Akali Dal, Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party have clearly stated their stand that they are against the construction of the canal link, whereas BJP has mainly remained silent.

With Punjab being one of the states going for state Assembly election in early 2017, water has emerged as a hot topic of debate, once again, right before the election.

Now, the prime minster’s statement that India won’t allow water that belongs to it to flow into Pakistan, is likely to tip the balance in BJP’s favour. And this is exactly what Modi did on Friday. “We formed a task force on Indus water treaty to ensure farmers of Punjab and other states get each drop of water due to them,” said the prime minister.

Modi was speaking after laying the foundation of a new Aiims centre in Bhatinda. The 750-bedded Aiims will be set up with an outlay of Rs 925 crore and it would be spread over 177 acres of land on the Bathinda-Dabwali road. The land has been given by the state government, and is expected to be completed by June 2020.

The Indus Waters Treaty gives Pakistan exclusive rights to use waters from three western rivers of the Indus river system — the Indus, the Chenab and the Jhelum — whereas India gets exclusive rights to use waters from the three eastern rivers — the Sutlej, the Beas and the Ravi.

Ever since the Uri attack took place in September earlier this year, voices threatening to break the Indus Water Treaty have become louder, and has emerged as a new strategy for India to push Pakistan to stop cross-border terrorism in India.

The PM also highlighted how India has given a befitting reply to Pakistan since the attack in Uri camp: “We made them realise the strength of our armed forces,” the prime minister said referring to the “surgical strike” that was carried out by the India following Uri.

First Published On : Nov 25, 2016 14:12 IST

Demonetisation helps Maharashtra govt recover long-pending dues and local taxes

The Centre’s demonetisation move has helped the Maharashtra government recover a good amount of long-pending dues by way of local taxes in the past 15 days, especially for the Urban and Rural Development departments, as the defaulters were allowed to pay the arrears in scrapped notes, according to senior officials.

Rs 1,000 rupee notes are still being accepted asRs 1,000 rupee notes are still being accepted as

Rs 1,000 rupee notes are still being accepted as local taxes. PTI file image

While the Urban Development Department netted around Rs 1,100 crore collection, the Rural Development and Water Resources departments also picked up a lot of revenue during the fortnight, they said.

“The urban local bodies have been facing the problem of chronic defaulters. The recovery of dues was important and significant manpower of the state was involved in litigations. The demonetisation decision gave Maharashtra Urban Development department an opportunity to get the dues cleared as people were willing to pay their outstanding taxes in cash,” UDD’s principal secretary Manisha Patankar-Mhaiskar told PTI.

“The proposal (to allow the people to pay the dues in scrapped notes) was moved to the chief secretary as well as the chief minister’s office who succeed in getting the Centre’s approval for tax payment,” said Mhaiskar. “We are collecting the taxes that were due till 8 November. Advance tax payment is not allowed.”

There are 26 municipal corporations and around 450 municipal councils and Nagar Panchayats in Maharashtra. Similarly, the Rural Development Department also decided to cash in on the opportunity and recover the dues. “Except for government hospitals and medical stores, the value of old currency notes has become zero. We realised that there is a lot of cash with people and they cannot stand in queue for its exchange. We decided to cash in on it, as our dues were virtually non-recoverable,” a senior IAS official of the department said.

“There were hundreds of litigations across the state for various types of tax recoveries, but the recovery achieved in last 15 days is way ahead of the other methods routinely used for tax recovery,” he added.

“Another big sector in terms of recovery is rural development, where tax dues of grampanchayats are not recovered for decades. Compared to UDD, there are some 28,000 grampanchayats in the state where the problem is prevalent. The department is compiling the figures, as last date of payment for property tax and other similar dues is 24 November. The final figures will be out in next couple of days,” a deputy secretary of the RDD said.

The state water resources department, along with Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran, which manages all the water supply schemes in the state, also came up with government resolutions in the last week, appealing to their defaulters to pay the pending dues using demonetised currency notes.

“The water resources ministry was also facing similar challenges of recovery of water bills. The demonetisation has helped us in improving the recovery of such bills,” said Maharashtra water resources minister Girish Mahajan.

First Published On : Nov 23, 2016 17:58 IST

SYL Verdict | Water is our lifeline, we will not let it go: Punjab CM Parkash Singh Badal

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Following the Supreme Court’s order on the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal which struck down Punjab’s termination of water-sharing agreement with other states, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Friday asserted that water sharing was not a political issue as it is their lifeline, adding that his government will remain firm on its stand in the matter. Badal said, the Sutlej-Yamuna Link (SYL) canal, through which Punjab was to share water with Haryana would be an obstacle to the economic development for the farmers of Punjab.”We are firm on our decision as this is not Punjab’s political issue and people are saying it all wrong. This is the matter of livelihood and economics. And, if there will be no water, then how will farmers survive? Water is our lifeline and we will not let it go,” he said.”I would like to say that this is not a decision, it is an advice. This issue of water is not something new to Punjab, it is something very old. And Punjab never got water from any government, Punjab has natural rives and every “district receives their share of water. What we have got as nature’s gift is water and according to International Conventional Law, water belong to those from where the main river flows. We only want our right, we do not want anything else,” he added.Following the Supreme Court’s drastic verdict, Punjab Congress president Captain Amarinder Singh, whose government had passed the Termination of River Waters Act in 2004, resigned from his Lok Sabha seat, Amritsar along with all 42 party MLAs who also quit their assembly seats in protest against the ‘injustice meted out to the people of the state’.Later, reacting to the SAD-BJP government’s calling an emergency session of the assembly on November 16, he said the “Badals are now indulging in theatrics. It’s too late for them to be thinking of ways and means to wriggle out of the situation that is of their own making. They plan to hold a special session of the assembly to pass a bill now when they had 10 years to resolve the issue. They also do not have the requisite 2/3rd majority to pass any such bill in the House,” Singh saidThe Supreme Court’s verdict on the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal on Thursday, came as a huge setback to the Punjab government, as it set aside Punjab government’s order repealing water sharing agreement with Haryana.The Apex Court ruled that the legislations passed by the Punjab Government on the Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal dispute stood null and void as a bilateral agreement couldn’t be tampered with by one party alone. (ANI)

IWT: India takes strong exception to World Bank decision on Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric projects

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India on Thursday night took strong exception to the World Bank’s “inexplicable” decision to set up a Court of Arbitration and appoint a Neutral Expert to go into Pakistan’s complaint against it over Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric projects in Jammu and Kashmir.Surprised at the World Bank’s decision to appoint a Neutral Expert, as sought by the Indian government and at the same time establish a Court of Arbitration as wanted by Pakistan, India said proceeding with both the steps simultaneously “legally untenable”. “Inexplicably, the World Bank has decided to continue to proceed with these two parallel mechanisms simultaneously. India cannot be party to actions which are not in accordance with the Indus Waters Treaty.”The government will examine further options and take steps accordingly,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said. Under the Indus Waters Treaty, signed between India and Pakistan and also the World Bank in 1960, the World Bank has a specified role in the process of resolution of differences and disputes. Swarup said on the issue of differences between India and Pakistan on Kishenganga and Ratle hydroelectric projects under the Indus Waters Treaty, India had asked the World Bank to appoint a Neutral Expert to resolve the differences of a technical nature which are within the domain of a neutral technical expert.Pakistan had sought the establishment of a Court of Arbitration, which is normally the logical next step in the process of resolution in the Treaty. The Neutral Expert can also determine that there are issues beyond mere technical differences, he noted. Pakistan has raised objections over the design of the hydel project in J&K, saying it is not in line with the criteria laid down under the Indus Water Treaty between the two countries.”The World Bank has decided to proceed with both steps simultaneously. It was pointed by the government to the World Bank that the pursuit of two parallel difference/ dispute resolution mechanisms – appointment of a Neutral Expert and establishment of a Court of Arbitration at the same time is legally untenable,” Swarup asserted. Noting that despite India’s clear advice not to proceed with both together, the World Bank has decided otherwise, thereby, raising questions over the “viability and workability” of the 56-year-old Treaty.Indus Waters Treaty provides for a hierarchy to resolve differences and disputes vide article IX. First, the bilateral Permanent Indus Commission (PIC) can addresses technical ‘questions’ and if PIC can’t resolve the matter, the question becomes a “difference”, which is addressed by a Neutral Expert(NE) appointed on request by either party. If the Neutral Expert decides so, he can refer a part of a difference or the whole of it for resolution by a Court of Arbitration (COA). COA has 7 members, 2 arbitrators to be appointed by India and Pakistan, and 3 ‘Umpires’ nominated by certain global dignitaries.If parties can’t agree on who will nominate the ‘umpires’, a draw of lots decides which three of these global dignitaries will nominate one umpire each. Pakistan had lost its case in a COA in 2013 when its objection that Kishenganga project can’t be built in a tributary diversion was overruled. Nevertheless, Pakistan persisted in its flawed and obstructive approach to object in technical design parameters such as pondage (volume of water used for running turbines), etc.It first itself suggested Neutral Expert even in 2015, which it rescinded later. It notified its intention to India to move for COA. India didn’t agree to this because there are design matters, preferably addressed by PIC, or at the most by NE. In violation of Treaty provision and procedure, Pakistan approached the World Bank in August 2016 for COA.Since PIC was unable to agree on resolving these differences, India notified Pakistan in august 2016 at the Commission level that the differences should be addressed by NE. This was after a meeting of water secretaries of the two countries, which India offered out of good will, in July did not address the matter due to Pakistan’s intransigence as it had already decided to go for Court of Arbitration. IWT clearly states that while NE is dealing with a difference, other mechanisms for settlement of differences and disputes will not address the same matter.

Maha government fooled HC, keeps 69 villages thirsty

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a serious contempt of Bombay High Court orders, the Maharashtra Government continues to keep the residents of 69 villages thirsty despite assuring the HC to complete the water project in 2014 after it was sanctioned six years back.On 15 December 2008, the Water Supply and Sanitation department had sanctioned 85 crore of which 10 per cent would be borne by the Maharashtra Jeevan Pradhikaran Yojana, The aim was to provide basic needs including water supply and sanitation facilities for 69 villages including Kofradh, Bhuigaon, Arnala, Agashi, Rangaon, Devdal, Sasunavghar and Bapane.The project was to be completed in 2010 but was extended after Rajkumar Chorghe, an Ex-corporator filed a Public Interest Litigation in Bombay HC in June 2013. Executive engineers on the project had assured HC that 95% work was completed and claimed to finish it by 30 June 2014.The Bombay HC bench Justice AS Oka and Justice AA Sayyed directed the state government to file the detailed report by 19 August in the same year.”The government executives did not respond to the Bombay HC order and continued to take time to file their reply which means that they clearly did contempt the order of HC despite several warnings and kept the residents of the village thirsty and failed to provide basic amenities”, said Rajkumar Chorghe. “This is a clear case of fooling the judicial system and harassing the village resients who are helpless and tired,” added Chorghe.Tired of running from pillar to post, Chorghe wrote to CM Devendra Fadnavis and sought his help, “As of now the Chief Minister has sent the reports to the Water supply department and the enquiry has been initiated by Vandana Sangar, senior official from the department”, said Chorghe.

Monsoon ends with food output of 270 million tonnes; 91 reservoirs show 25% increase in storage

By Abhishek Waghmare

A “normal” monsoon and adequate water in major reservoirs nationwide, coupled with more money to agriculture, have set the stage for a record agricultural output of 270 million tonnes — 2 percent in excess of the government’s target — for the kharif (summer) and rabi (winter) crops of 2016.

With the southwest monsoon officially withdrawing this week, water available in 91 reservoirs nationwide is 25 percent more than the amount available in October 2015, according to Central Water Commission data, except in Karnataka and Gujarat, which face more than 20 percent deficit in seasonal rainfall.

Against the government target of 132 million tonnes, India is set for a kharif output of 135 million tonnes, according to preliminary government estimates; the previous highest was 131 million tonnes in 2011-12.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

It also appears India will meet the rabi target of 137 million tonnes, one million tonnes more than the previous high in 2013-14.

A third of India’s districts were faced with deficient rainfall in the June-August period, as IndiaSpend reported in August 2016; it now appears that Karnataka and Gujarat will be hardest hit, according to this October 2016 report Monsoon Granular Review by Crisil, a research agency.

A “double whammy” — three-year successive years of deficient rainfall and poor irrigation facilities — makes 13 districts in the two states the worst affected in this “normal” monsoon season, the report said.

Agriculture reviving, but households may suffer

The four-month monsoon season ended within normal limits of (+/-) 4 percent of the 100-year average. The actual deficit was 3 percent — India received 97 percent of normal rainfall in the June-September period — diverging from the prediction of 6 percent excess rainfall forecast by the India Meteorological Department (IMD) as the monsoon began.

The 91 major reservoirs monitored by the Central Water Commission are at 75 percent capacity, equaling the average availability of last 10 years.

“The share of distressed districts in all-India kharif production is just 1.7 percent but the stress to agricultural household incomes could be high because a quarter of the kharif production in Karnataka and a third in Gujarat comes from the distressed districts,” the Crisil report said.

Even with Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Kerala getting less-than-normal rains, adequate irrigation facilities will ensure that these states are not affected as much as Karnataka and Gujarat, the report said.

With the exception of some districts in some states, the picture for India’s agricultural economy looks positive due to the fact that the sowing of the summer crop has crossed the end-of-September average sowing of 102.5 million hectare to reach 107.1 million hectare.

Source: 4th advanced estimates of agricultural production, ministry of agriculture, figures in million tonnes

Note: For 2015-16: 4th advanced estimates; for 2016 kharif: 1st advance estimate; for 2016 rabi production: set target; rest of the years: actual production.

Pulses output in the kharif season was estimated to be 8.7 million tonnes, 22 percent more than the best of 7.1 million tonnes achieved in 2010-11, and 60 percent more than last year’s 5.5 million tonnes last year.

Oilseeds production is set to be 234 million tonnes, 4 percent more than the best of 226 million tonnes produced in 2013-14.

Source: All India Crop Situation as on September 30, 2016, Ministry of Agriculture

Bordering regions have deficit, central India in excess

Every monsoon — whether it good (above normal) or bad (below normal) — leaves some areas inundated and some parched. In the “normal” monsoon of 2016, eight states received less than 85 percent of normal rains.

A normal monsoon in 2013 hid 30 percent and 23 percent deficits in Bihar and Jharkhand respectively.

In 2016, except for central India, the other three regions — northwest, southern peninsular and eastern (including northeast) — reported deficits in June-to-September rainfall.

Only four of 36 meteorological sub-divisions received more than 20 percent above normal rainfall. Drought-stricken Marathwada and the coastal strip of Konkan in Maharashtra received 22 percent and 21 percent above-normal rainfall, while two divisions of Rajasthan, west and east, received 20 percent and 32 percent above-normal rains, respectively.

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Nine divisions — covering eight states — of coastal and southern Karnataka, Kerala, eastern Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Assam and Meghalaya have received less than 80 percent of the normal monsoon rain.

Twenty-three divisions — covering the whole of eastern and central India — received normal rainfall.

Cash crops hit, eastern states to benefit

The north-eastern monsoon — or the retreating monsoon, as it is called — is set to give normal rains to Tamil Nadu, southern Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, according to the IMD forecast, offering relief to the distressed parts of the states.

Cotton and sugarcane, the major cash crops of India, have suffered in this season. Cotton has been planted on 83 percent of normal cropped area, and its production is expected to be 11 percent less than the best production of 360 lakh bales achieved in 2013-14.

Sugarcane is being cropped on 90 percent of normal cropped area, and the season is expected to produce only 82 percent of the best cane production of 360 million tonnes achieved till date (2011-12 and 2013-14).

The author is an analyst with IndiaSpend.

Cauvery row: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu facing water shortage, says SC panel

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day before the crucial hearing on Cauvery dispute in the Supreme Court, a high level panel on Monday suggested doing away with “outdated and unscientific water application techniques” to resolve the wrangle, saying both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu were facing water shortage, creating unemployment and financial hardship for the people.The apex court-appointed Supervisory Committee, formed to inspect Cauvery basin to assess the ground realities in the region, said the neighbouring riparian states needed to appreciate interest of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to protect their established irrigation and Karnataka’s aspirations for development and educate their people accordingly. The 9-member committee’s report will come up for perusal before a three-judge bench of justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and AM Khanwilkar which will hear a long pending appeal against the award of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal and other related contentious issues arising out of the dispute.The panel in its 40-page report has noted that farmers in both states were in severe distress and adequate crop compensation must be provided to them. “There has been large number of suicides reported in Karnataka’s Mandya district,” the report said in its assessment of the social aspects of the situation in the Cauvery basin.However, the technical assessment of the ground reality stated that “the water application techniques are outdated and unscientific and the value of water is not realised. The water applied to the field is on the concept of flooding from one field to another adjacent field and as such the water consumption is on the higher side and during period of distress, this becomes very significant depending upon the soil condition”.”The infrastructure to deliver water to the farmers is century old and has very low conveyance efficiency. This needs to be modernised for optimal use of scarce water. The conveyance efficiency can be further improved by piped distribution network and application efficiency by micro irrigation and precision irrigation. In addition, on-farm development works may be provided to ensure equitable distribution of water to individual farmer’s field,” the report said.The Supervisory Committee headed by G S Jha, chairperson of the Central Water Commission, agreed that both states have been facing water shortage and “in the absence of required water, the labour employment for farming and fishing is also limited, creating a scenario of unemployment and financial hardship to them”.”It has been seen from the data that this year is the consecutive low flow year. During the last five years it has been witnessed that three years are low flow years. In such a situation, the uncertainty prevails and farmers of the basin states suffer in the process… Both the States of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu need to appreciate interest of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in protection of their established irrigation and Karnataka’s aspirations for development respectively and should educate their people accordingly,” the report said.Karnataka has declared 42 out of 48 talukas under the Cauvery basin as drought-affected. The state has also been at the receiving end of at least six interim rulings by the apex court to release water to Tamil Nadu, which it has unwillingly complied with, it said. The panel, after interacting with farmers and public representatives, also said that due to lack of water for irrigation in Karnataka, there is heavy impact on economy and many people have left villages seeking work in urban areas.With regard to Tamil Nadu, it said agricultural labourers have been migrating from Cauvery Delta districts and many of them pushed to committing suicide due to financial burden.Earlier, the bench had directed Karnataka to release 2,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu from October 7-18, while deferring its order asking the Centre to set up the Cauvery Management Board till it finally decided on appeals relating to the dispute. It had also agreed to the suggestion that a Supervisory Committee, comprising officials and technical experts from the Centre, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry, be set up to inspect the Cauvery basin for assessing the ground realities.

Goa govt to hold all-party meeting on Mahadeyi water dispute tomorrow

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Goa government will hold an all-party meeting on Monday to discuss the state government’s stand on the Mahadeyi water diversion issue after Mahadeyi Water Dispute Tribunal suggested Goa, Maharashtra and Karnataka to explore an “amicable solution”.”Chief minister Laxmikant Parsekar will chair an all party meeting tomorrow at the Secretariat on the Mahadeyi water diversion issue as Mahadeyi Water Dispute Tribunal has suggested the three states to explore the possibility of amicable solution on this long-pending water dispute,” a senior state government official said on Sunday.State unit presidents of several parties have been called for the meeting where they would be giving their suggestions on the matter, he said.Karnataka and Maharashtra have planned dams upstream Mahadeyi river, which meets Arabian Sea near Panaji. The Goa government has raised objections over the diversion, claiming that such an act would hamper the ecology of the coastal state.Karnataka plans to construct at least seven dams and three hydroelectric projects by diverting the water to river Malprabha.Meanwhile, NGO Mahadeyi Bachao Abhiyan (MBA), which will be a part of the crucial all-party meeting, has said that it will keep a close watch on it. The NGO has raised concern that the proposed dams site on Mahadeyi river in Karnataka is just 300 metres away from Mahadeyi Wildlife Sanctuary and poses a threat to the surrounding ecology and the wildlife.”We are closely watching what state government intends to do. We will not allow any compromise on this issue,” MBA secretary Rajendra Kerkar said.”When Goa has won half battle, finding an amicable solution at this stage is not advisable,” he said, adding that they will strongly object to the suggestion of “amicable solution”.”With an aim to politically appease someone, if the government tries to compromise state interest, we will approach the National Green Tribunal against Karnataka, Maharashtra and Goa governments,” Kerkar said.

Cauvery row: New SC bench formed, to hear matter on October 18

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court has constituted a fresh bench of three judges to hear an age-old dispute related to the sharing of Cauvery water between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. The new bench would comprise justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and AM Khanwilkar and will take up all the issues arising out of the Cauvery water dispute on October 18.Earlier, on October 4, a bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and UU Lalit had agreed to the counsels representing both the sides that the matter had to be heard by a three-judge bench. The bench was told during the last hearing that when the appeals were filed against the order of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal, it was decided that the matter would be heard by a three-judge bench.In the meantime, the bench, in an interim order, had directed Karnataka to release 2,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu from October 7 to 18, while deferring its order asking the Centre to set up the Cauvery Water Management Board till it finally decided on appeals relating to the dispute.Instead, the apex court had agreed to the suggestion that a Supervisory Committee, comprising officials and technical experts from the Centre, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala and Puducherry, be set up to inspect the Cauvery basin for assessing the ground realities. The committee was asked by the bench to file its report by October 17. The matter will be taken up a day after the court reopens after the Dussehra break.

Water resource ministry team to visit Bangladesh soon to discuss Ganges barrage project

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Bangladesh is keen to have India as a “stakeholder” in the proposed US $4 billion Ganges barrage project and a team from India’s water resources ministry will soon visit Dhaka to hold talks in this regard, a senior minister has said.State Minister for Water Resources Nazrul Islam said two Chinese firms were keen to wholly finance the project and even Japan was willing to fund at least US $2 billion. “But because the Ganges flows into Bangladesh from India, we take a long term view of the project and our prime minister is keen to get India into it,” he told bdnews24 online.He said a team from India’s water resources ministry will soon visit Dhaka to hold discussions on the barrage project. “The issue was raised during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Dhaka last year. He showed much interest and Indian officials later asked for the project details which we have provided,” Islam said.He said funding was not a problem for the project. “Two Chinese companies have offered full finance while the Japanese have said they can put in half the project cost and we can manage the rest, but it makes long-term sense to have India involved because the Ganges flow into Bangladesh from India,” Islam said.The Ganges barrage will be a 165-kilometre long reservoir running from Rajbarhi to Chapainawabganj districts, with a depth of 12.5 metres. It will hold a phenomenal 2.9 billion cubic litres and cost Tk 314 billion (approximately US $4 billion). The barrage will retain the water of the trans-boundary river Ganga, known as the Padma in Bangladesh, during the monsoon and feed small rivers during the lean season.This will help Bangladesh flush the small rivers and reduce salinity, a major threat to public health and agriculture in the country’s southwest. Islam sought to allay fears of flooding on the Indian side of the Ganges. “The project has provided for allocations for upgrading and raising embankments on the Indian side to avoid any flooding,” he said.

Cauvery dispute: Centre constitutes team to assess ground realities of basin area

Cauvery dispute: Centre constitutes team to assess ground realities of basin area

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New Delhi: The Centre on Wednesday constituted a high-level technical team to visit the Cauvery basin area to assess the ground realities there.

Central Water Commission Chairman GS Jha heads the team, constituted by the Ministry for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation.

The team was set up in pursuance to the 4 October Supreme Court order asking the Cauvery Supervisory Committee to visit the river basin area in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to assess the ground situation and report back to it by 17 October.

The team members will converge at Bengaluru on 7 October for a preparatory meeting. It will submit its report to the Supreme Court on 17 October.

Cauvery row: Karnataka relents; SC stipulates quantum of water to be released to Tamil Nadu till 18th Oct

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Karnataka assembly passed a modified resolution deciding to comply with the order of the Supreme Court to release water to Tamil Nadu, Supreme Court directed the higher riparian state to release 2,000 cusecs of water per day to Tamil Nadu from October 7 to 18. Karnataka also informed the Supreme Court that it will implement apex court’s order of releasing 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu from October 1-6.The decision taken by Karnataka Assembly in its special session on Monday is because the water storage levels in Hemavathy, Harangi, Kabini and Krishnaraja Sagar had increased to 34.13 TMC ft as of Monday from 27.60 TMC ft on September 23, according to the reports.Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Monday said in the last 10 days, there was inflow of an average of 7,000 cusecs per day into Cauvery basin reservoirs and if water is released into canals in the state, 3,000 cusecs would flow naturally and be recorded at Biligundlu, besides seepage water. About 1,200 to 1,300 cusecs would also flow even if the crest gates are closed.Earlier decisionsOn September 23, the state legislature, citing acute shortage of water, had unanimously resolved to reserve waters of the Cauvery river for drinking purpose of the people in the state. The apex court had on September 30 directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from October 1 till October 6 and asked the Cauvery Water Management Board ​(CWMB) to visit both states and file a report on the “ground realities” by October 6. In a step that will ensure release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, the Karnataka legislature adopted a unanimous resolution on Monday empowering the government to take an “appropriate” decision to provide water for irrigation to meet the state farmers’ demand.The decision by both the Houses of the legislature at the second such special session in 10 days came on the day when the Supreme Court asked Karnataka government to apprise it by Tuesday afternoon whether it has released water to Tamil Nadu as directed by it on September 30.With agency inputs

Why China’s move to block Brahmaputra tributary is actually linked to Balochistan

In the wake of India’s newly re-imagined policy towards Pakistan — conducting precision strikes across the Line of Control (LoC), reviewing the ‘Most Favoured Nation’ status tag, and organising high-level meets to discuss withdrawal from the Indus Waters Treaty — China has played its latest card by blocking a tributary of Brahmaputra to facilitate work on of its expensive hydropower projects in Tibet.  Power has a lot to do with perception politics and perhaps China intends for this to just be a warning to India, the timing of such a move from China implies that it’s trying to corner India and showing its support for Pakistan.

On Friday, 30 September, Xinhua reported that Tibet blocked a tributary of the Yarlung Zangbo River as part of its most expensive hydro project. The 4.95-billion-yuan project ($740 million) can store up to 295 million cubic meters of water.

This is not too far-fetched a theory, considering that China is known to displays of aggression across the border when it is unhappy. An earlier Firstpost editorial also points out that such aggression is a part of the Chinese “blow-hot, blow cold” routine. In June this year, the Chinese termed it a “temporary transgression” when about 250 China’s Peoples Liberation Army soldiers entered Arunachal Pradesh’s east district of Kameng. These incursions are not new and in fact the trend has been rising over the last few years. According to the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs, in 2010, there were 228 incursions, 213 in 2011, 426 in 2012.

So how is blocking a tributary of the river in its own legal territory one such show of aggression?

Image Courtesy: World Bank's Water InitiativeImage Courtesy: World Bank's Water Initiative

Image Courtesy: World Bank’s Water Initiative

The Brahamaputra originates in China (Yarlung Tsangpo) and flows through India and Bangladesh; a part of the river’s basin is also in Bhutan. The river basin covers close to 5,80,000 square kilometres through the four countries. The basin, most certainly poses a security concern for India, since both countries have fought over territories in which the river flows. Dam building activities, water diversion plans — with no bilateral or multilateral treaty on these waters — all actors in the issue have their own set of concerns.

In the Centre for Naval Analyses 2016 report titled Water Resource Competition in the Brahmaputra River Basin: China, India, and Bangladesh, authors Nilanthi Samaranayake, Satu Limaye, and Joel Wuthnow explain that China’s concerns stem from a fear Indian government’s “actual control” over Arunachal Pradesh (a state it has considered part of China and referred to as ‘Southern Tibet’) can be strengthened through dam-building activities. China’s interests can be inferred as political. However, India’s concerns with any activity upstream (ie in China) is both political and physical. While there is worry over Beijing’s claim to Arunachal Pradesh, probable water diversion or dam building activities in the upper riparian areas of the river could have large scale implications on the physical level

In 2013, India complained to China about its expensive hydropower projects announced in the Brahmaputra region citing ‘irreparable damage’ to the Indian basin and also the impact it would have on the physical land and surrounding regions. China didn’t budge, only assured that it wouldn’t have a negative impact.

In the ongoing scuffle between India and Pakistan — when both sides are unencumbered in their ways to smear the other as the enemy, China is at an advantage to pick a side. China has in the recent past also unequivocally expressed its support to Pakistan — “In case of any (foreign) aggression, our country will extend its full support to Pakistan,” consul-general of China in Lahore, Yu Boren is quoted as saying in a report published in Dawn. While it may look like China is just being a kind neighbour to Pakistan and supporting it in standing up to a bully like India, but if you look closer there is much more at play here — the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, for instance. H Jacob writes in a paper for the European Council on Foreign Relations, China, India, Pakistan and a Stable Regional Order, that China is “steadily increasing its influence in the region with its innovative ‘New Silk Road’ strategy, and by offering economic and development assistance to Pakistan.”

When the Prime Minister Narendra Modi raked up the Balochistan cause in his Independence Day speech, he also loosened the screws on any plans for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. China is looking to gain something — by using Gwadar as another naval base (despite Pakistan and China assuring that it will be used only for economic reasons), China will have fresh access to the Indian Ocean (making it a two ocean power) and if the controversy surrounding South China Sea is anything to go by, India is right in being wary of China’s agenda. And China involves itself in the international arguments to further its own cause. So China’s reaction of closing the taps on the Brahmaputra shouldn’t be construed as its big-brotherly act towards Pakistan, considering that India threatened to abrogate the Indus Waters Treaty.

China is uniquely aware of Brahmaputra’s importance to lower riparian States like India and Bangladesh and as Brahma Chellaney writes in Coming Water Wars (in The Magazine of International Economic Policy):

“Upstream dams, barrages, canals, and irrigation systems can help fashion water into a political weapon that can be wielded overtly in a war, or subtly in peacetime to signal dissatisfaction with a co-riparian state.”

China is applying subtle pressure to let India know that the India-Pakistan equation is subject to the complex geopolitics of the South Asian region. The two nations should perhaps engage in cooperation and dialogue, like they did in the early 2000s after a major flood hit the North East of India. Sure, talking about a river that flows through contested territory is not easy, but better than escalation that neither country should attempt.

Cauvery issue: Centre seeks modification of SC order to set up water management board

The Centre on Monday told the Supreme Court that it has no jurisdiction to direct it to set-up the Cauvery Management Board as it was just a recommendation of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal and not binding on the government. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi made the submission before the bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit while mentioning the Centre’s application for modification of the apex court’s 30 September order that directed the constitution of the Cauvery Management Board.

File photo of CM Siddaramiah. PTI

File photo of CM Siddaramiah. PTI

Even as the Centre tried to wriggle out of its commitment to set up the board, the bench questioned Karnataka why it has not released the water.

“Have you released some water? There can be a part compliance of our order. We can understand your difficulty,” it said as senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, said Karnataka has not released any water as directed by the court.

As Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi urged the court to hear the Centre’s application seeking modification of 30 September order, Naphade opposed it, asking what was the hurry as Karnataka was not complying with the court’s order and will not comply at all.

Naphade told the court: “There is much more to it (Centre’s application seeking modification of 30 September order) than what meets the eye. Have it on Thursday (When matter is listed for hearing) as it is their (Karnataka) is not giving water, come what may.”

According to The Hindu, the Centre has taken a U-turn in its position on the issue after Karnataka moved a review petition challenging the Court on Saturday.On 30 September it was the Centre represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that had readily agreed to the Court’s decision to form a board by 4 October.

Rohatgi said that based on Article 262, the Supreme Court cannot look into matters concerning an inter-State river dispute if a tribunal set up under parliamentary legislation passes its final order and in this case, the 1956 Act.

In Tamil Nadu, condemning the central government’s revised stand on the issue, DMK President M Karunanidhi, in a statement, said the central government had taken this stand with an eye to the ensuing assembly elections in Karnataka. He said the central government has slipped from being objective on the issue. He urged the ruling Tamil Nadu government to call for an all-party meeting and also a special session of the state assembly to discuss the issue.

PMK founder S Ramadoss, in a statement condemning the central government’s new stand, termed it as a big bane of the Indian political system for Tamil Nadu to fight for more than a decade for the setting up of the CMB.

Ramadoss said the central government’s contention of needing Parliament’s approval for setting up the CMB is not acceptable and also strange. He said no such approval was obtained when the Bhakra Beas Management Board was set up.

MDMK leader Vaiko, too, opposed the central government’s stand on the issue.

Refusing to budge from its stand, a day after the Supreme Court gave the “last opportunity” to comply with its order, the Karnataka government questioned the constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Board and decided to file a review petition in this regard on Monday. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah spelled out the state’s stand to reporters after an all-party meeting convened by him concluded that the government should not release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu as directed by the Supreme Court “at any cost”, and to oppose the formation of the Board, said a PTI report.

According to The Indian Express, this petition would seek a review of the Supreme Court order directing the Centre to form a Cauvery Management Board as the State government of Karnataka alleges that it goes against the earlier 3 December, 2013 order postponing the formation of the Board till the civil appeal was decided. Chief Minister Siddaramiah added that Kerala and Puducherry, also riparian parties of the Cauvery Basin were not issued on the Board and that any water board should be ratified by the Parliament according to the Inter-State Water Dispute Act of 1956. It was also decided in the Cabinet meeting on Saturday that Karnataka would not nominate any member to the Board.

“We have not defied the orders of the Supreme Court… There is no willful disobedience or deliberate disobedience,” Siddaramaiah said, adding the legislature session was binding on the government. Siddaramaiah said there was a demand for the release of water to save standing crops in the Cauvery basin but a decision on that too had to be taken by the legislature, which had earlier decided that water should be used only for drinking purpose.

In a Times Of India report, legal experts think that the court will hold the resolution to ‘willful disobedience’ of its order and would call the chief minister and chief secretary before a bench for admonition. The Supreme Court could even direct the Centre to dismiss the Siddaramiah government and issue President’s Rule in the state. But any allaying by the Congress on this issue would face censure from the opposition parties BJP and the Janata Dal (S) that have strongly backed the Siddaramiah government decision of not releasing water to Tamil Nadu.

Before he went into a huddle with his ministerial colleagues, Siddaramaiah held consultations with Opposition leaders at an all-party meeting on the state’s next move as it suffered repeated judicial setbacks on the issue. JDS leader YSV Datta had said that the state should not release 6,000 cusecs as directed by the apex court “at any cost”. “Whatever may be the consequences, we will all face it together. We are with the government,” he said. He said if a situation of contempt of court was to arise, all MPs, MLAs and MLCs should submit affidavits, stating that they all be made responsible and not just the Chief Minister and the chief secretary.

Considering the wrath of the law upon contempt of court and its own position to reaffirm its authority, the Karnataka legislature will pass a modified resolution. They may release water to help farmers of both states without giving way to any kind of crisis in Bengaluru. This resolution is expected to include the concerns of the farmers in Mysuru and Mandya.

The Hindu reports that the ruling party is considering a proposal to take a commission of all 225 MLAs, 75 MLCs and MPs from the State to the President to present the ground realities in the Cauvery basin. Siddaramiah is quoted to have said that Karnataka is a victim in the dispute.

With inputs from agencies

Cauvery issue: Karnataka caught between a rock and a hard place, special legislature session convened

Unrelenting in its position, despite the fresh Supreme Court order to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, the Karnataka Cabinet on Saturday night decided to convene a special legislature session on 3 October, the second recently, to take a call on the apex court directive.

On 27 September, the Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and UU Lalit directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs to Tamil Nadu for three days, despite the resolution passed by the state legislature. This came after the Cauvery Supervisory Committee had on 19 September asked Karnataka to release 3,000 cusecs daily from 21 to 30 September, but the apex court had on 20 September doubled the quantum to 6,000 cusecs from 21 to 27 September after Tamil Nadu pressed for water to save its samba paddy crop.

File photo of CM Siddaramiah. PTI

File photo of CM Siddaramiah. PTI

Refusing to budge from its stand, a day after the Supreme Court gave the “last opportunity” to comply with its order, the Karnataka government questioned the constitution of the Cauvery Water Management Board and decided to file a review petition in this regard on Monday. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah spelled out the state’s stand to reporters after an all-party meeting convened by him that concluded that the government should not release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu as directed by the Supreme Court “at any cost”, and to oppose the formation of the Board, said a PTI report.

According to The Indian Express, this petition would seek a review of the Supreme Court order directing the Centre to form a Cauvery Management Board as the State government of Karnataka alleges that it goes against the earlier 3 December, 2013 order postponing the formation of the Board till the civil appeal was decided. Chief Minister Siddaramiah added that Kerala and Puducherry, also riparian parties of the Cauvery Basin were not issued on the Board and that any water board should be ratified by the Parliament according to the Inter-State Water Dispute Act of 1956. It was also decided in the Cabinet meeting on Saturday that Karnataka would not nominate any member to the Board.

“We have not defied the orders of the Supreme Court… There is no willful disobedience or deliberate disobedience,” Siddaramaiah said, adding the legislature session was binding on the government. Siddaramaiah said there was a demand for release of water to save standing crops in the Cauvery basin but a decision on that too had to be taken by the legislature, which had earlier decided that water should be used only for drinking purpose.

In a Times Of India report, legal experts think that the court will hold the resolution to ‘willful disobedience’ of its order and would call the chief minister and chief secretary before a bench for admonition. The Supreme Court could even direct the Centre to dismiss the Siddaramiah government and issue President’s Rule in the state. But any allaying by the Congress on this issue would face censure from the opposition parties BJP and the Janata Dal (S) that have strongly backed the Siddaramiah government decision of not releasing water to Tamil Nadu.

Before he went into a huddle with his ministerial colleagues, Siddaramaiah held consultations with Opposition leaders at an all-party meeting on the state’s next move as it suffered repeated judicial setbacks on the issue. JDS leader YSV Datta had said that the state should not release 6,000 cusecs as directed by the apex court “at any cost”. “Whatever may be the consequences, we will all face it together. We are with the government,” he said. He said if a situation of contempt of court was to arise, all MPs, MLAs and MLCs should submit affidavits, stating that they all be made responsible and not just the Chief Minister and the chief secretary.

Considering the wrath of the law upon contempt of court and its own position to reaffirm its authority, the Karnataka legislature will pass a modified resolution. They may release water to help farmers of both states without giving way to any kind of crisis in Bengaluru. This resolution is expected to include the concerns of the farmers in Mysuru and Mandya.

The Hindu reports that the ruling party is considering a proposal to take a commission of all 225 MLAs, 75 MLCs and MPs from the State to the President to present the ground realities in the Cauvery basin. Siddaramiah is quoted to have said that Karnataka is a victim in the dispute.

With inputs from PTI

Centre moves SC against order to constitute Cauvery Water Management Board

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi today moved the Supreme Court challenging its September 30 order asking the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Water Management Board (CWMB) and said that the apex court has no power in this regard.The Attorney General has in his plea stated that only the Parliament has the power to constitute the CWMB and not the apex court.The Supreme Court had earlier on September 30 directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water from October 1 till October 6 after the state government differed its order to provide water to Tamil Nadu and the meeting convened by Union Water Resource Minister Uma Bharti on September 29 to sort out differences between both states failed to reach any conclusion.The apex court had on September 30 directed Kar.nataka to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from October 1 till October 6 and asked the Cauvery Water Management Board (CWMB) to visit both states and file a report on the “ground realities” by October 6.Over the past month, both states are fighting a legal battle in various courts over the sharing and distribution of Cauvery waters.

Cauvery row: SC asks Karnataka to apprise it by 2 PM tomorrow on whether water was released to TN

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday asked Karnataka to appraise it by Tuesday afternoon whether it has released water to Tamil Nadu or not.The court has given Karnataka a deadline till Tuesday 2:00 pm.The Supreme Court, on September 30, had asked Karnataka to discharge 6,000 cusecs of water from October 1 to 6, while warning that ‘no one would know when the ‘wrath of the law’ would fall on it’.It had also ordered all the stakeholders in the dispute — Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry — to give the names of their representatives to be included in the board which would be headed by Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti. However, the Centre also sought the modification of Supreme Court order to set up Cauvery Water Management Board.Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said the state was the “victim” and not the villain in the Cauvery river water dispute as it was being portrayed by some people.Even though the water in the four Cauvery reservoirs in the state was “inadequate”, the state government’s first priority was to meet the drinking water requirements of the people of the Cauvery basin, the chief minister said, adding that the state needed to conserve water till 2017.

China blocks tributary of Brahmaputra in Tibet to build dam

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>China has blocked a tributary of the Brahmaputra river in Tibet as part of the construction of its “most expensive” hydro project which could cause concern in India as it may impact water flows into the lower riparian countries.The Lalho project on Xiabuqu river, a tributary of Yarlung Zangbo (the Tibetan name for Brahmaputra), in Xigaze in Tibet involves an investment of 4.95 billion yuan (USD 740 million), Zhang Yunbao, head of the project’s administration bureau was quoted as saying by Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency today.Xigaze also known as Shigatse is closely located to Sikkim. From Xigaze, the Brahmaputra flows into Arunachal Pradesh.Terming it as the “most expensive project”, the report said the project, whose construction began in June 2014, was scheduled to be completed in 2019.It is not clear yet what impact the blockade of the river will have on the flow of water from the Brahmaputra into the lower riparian countries like India and Bangladesh as a result, it said.Last year, China had operationalised the US $1.5 billion Zam Hydropower Station, the largest in Tibet, built on the Brahmaputra river, which has raised concerns in India.But China has been maintaining that it has taken into consideration India’s concerns and allays apprehensions of restricting the flow of water, saying its dams are run of the river projects not designed to hold water.The outline of China’s 12th Five Year Plan indicates that three more hydropower projects on the mainstream of the Brahmaputra river in Tibet Autonomous Region have been approved for implementation.In March, Union Minister of State for Water Resources Sanwar Lal Jat said in a statement that India had expressed its concerns to China about the likely impact of the dams.While there is no water treaty between the countries, India and China established an Expert Level Mechanism (ELM) on trans-border rivers and in October 2013 the two governments signed a memorandum of understanding on strengthening cooperation on trans-border rivers under which Beijing provides data to India on the water flows.The blockade of the Brahmaputra river tributary comes at a time when India’s reported decision to suspend talks with Pakistan under Indus Water Treaty as part of its efforts to hit back at Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri attack.Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang gave a guarded reply when asked on September 27 about India’s reported move.”As a friendly neighbour to both India and Pakistan, China hopes that India and Pakistan can properly address disputes and improve relations through dialogue and consultation, maintain and enhance all-round cooperation and join hands to promote regional peace, stability and development,” Shuang told PTI.Some of the rivers under the Indus water treaty originate in China.

Cauvery dispute: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah convenes all-party meeting on Saturday

Bengaluru: Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has convened an all-party meeting on Saturday to discuss future course of action in the wake of fresh Supreme Court order for release of 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day till 6 October to Tamil Nadu.

Representational image. CNN-News18

Representational image. CNN-News18

The Chief Minister has convened an all-party meeting of floor Leaders of both Houses, MPs, including central ministers representing the state, and Ministers concerned of Cauvery basin and district in-charge Ministers, CMO officials said. Taking Karnataka to task for its repeated “defiance” by flouting its orders over release of, the apex court today asked it to release 6,000 cusecs water from Saturday till 6 October to Tamil Nadu, warning “no one would know when the wrath of the law” would fall on it.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and UU Lalit also directed the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Water Management Board by 4 October. After the apex court verdict, sporadic protests were reported from Mandya and Mysuru districts where police have
made elaborate security arrangements.

Speaking in New Delhi, Karnataka Water Resources Minister MB Patil said the government will decide further course of action after going through the judgment and discussing with the legal team headed by advocate Fali Nariman. Nariman told the bench he has unequivocally said he would not argue for Karnataka till the orders of Supreme Court are complied with.

Karnataka has maintained its inability to release water to Tamil Nadu citing low storage in its reservoirs and drinking water needs of Bengaluru and neighbouring districts. Both the Legislative Assembly and the Council on 23 September had also adopted a resolution not to provide water for any other purpose except to meet drinking needs, citing “acute distress” and “alarmingly low levels” in dams.

The opposition BJP and JD(S) have expressed disappointment over the Supreme Court’s order and the stand taken by Nariman, representing the state in the case. Terming court order as “shocking”, BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa said the order to release 6,000 cusecs till 6 October, does not note of the ground realities.

Cauvery water row: Supreme Court orders formation of Cauvery Management Board by Oct 4

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In a crucial order on Friday, a Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra passed an interim order that the Cauvery Management Board had to be constituted by October 4 and that the Centre was to ensure that a coordination officer was nominated.Karnataka, though, got a breather as the bench did not initiate action against the state for defying their orders and not releasing 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu.The bench said that all four Cauvery basin states — Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala — have to nominate a member to the Cauvery Management Board, as per orders of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal, before 4 pm on Saturday. The Cauvery board has to be constituted by Tuesday and then forthwith visit the site to study water availability. The board then has to report back to the Supreme Court.Even as the SC bench did not initiate action against Karnataka, it reiterated its September 27 order and directed the state to release 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu from October 1 to 6.The bench also warned Karnataka that it was flouting their orders and this was their last opportunity.

Cauvery row: Karnataka dented majesty of law, says SC; directs state to release 6,000 cusecs of water for 6 days

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after the meeting convened by the Centre to iron out differences between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka on the impasse over Cauvery dispute failed to achieve any breakthrough, the Supreme court on Friday pulled Karnataka for its defiant stand and directed it to release water to Tamil Nadu.Coming down heavily on the state’s actions, the top court warned Karnataka that the wrath of law will fall upon them in case the Cauvery order was defied.”Karnataka is flouting order and creating a situation in which the majesty of law is dented,” the apex court said. The court also directed it to release 6000 cusecs of water between October 1 and 6.The apex court also asked the Centre to set up Cauvery Water Management Board by October 4 and directed Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry to give names of members for the Cauvery Water Management Board by Saturday.After meeting the government representatives from both the states, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti had on Thursday said that if the tension between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka prevailed, she would go on hunger strike at the border that separates the two states. Bharti also requested both states to sit down together and approach the court after finding some solution to their problems. Earlier, the apex court, had expressed its displeasure over Karnataka’s inaction, saying that it violated the spirit of federalism or cooperation between states.

Cauvery issue: Sharing water with Tamil Nadu detrimental to our needs, says Siddaramaiah

New Delhi: Ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on sharing of Cauvery water, Karnataka Chief Minister K Siddaramaiah on Thursday said the state cannot spare any quantum of water for Tamil Nadu as it will be detrimental to drinking water requirements of its people.

Speaking to the media after a meeting on the issue between the two states convened by Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati, he noted the state’s demand to send a central expert team to assess the ground reality has been turned down by Tamil Nadu.

A file photo of Siddaramaiah. PTI

A file photo of Siddaramaiah. PTI

“We explained the ground situation at the meeting. We told that no further releases from our reservoirs can be made. We need water for drinking, while Tamil Nadu wants it for Samba crop,” Siddaramaiah said.

On “defiance” of the SC order, he said, “It is not defying the order. The National Water Policy says the first priority should be given to drinking water and then to irrigation and other purpose. This is what we are demanding,” he said.

He said, “We have highest respect for judiciary and rule of law. We don’t want to defy the SC order. We have complied with earlier SC order and released 12,000 cusecs of water. Now, our situation is that we don’t have water.”

The Chief Minister said the next course of action would be decided after going back to the state. He termed as “baseless” allegations made by Tamil Nadu that Tamils staying in Karnataka were being targeted post-SC orders. “We have maintained law and order and will continue to give protection.”

Seeking to drive home a point that Tamil Nadu is in a comfortable position than Karnataka, he said his state only has 27.6 TMC of water for drinking purpose.

“Tamil Nadu is in a comfortable position as the neighbouring state has 43 TMC of water in Mettur dam, 20 TMC of ground water and it would receive north east rains in October-December,” he said, and noted that Karnataka gets only south-west rains and not north east monsoon rains.

In the meeting, the Chief Minister suggested sending a central expert team to assess the ground reality. “They should have had agreed, but they did not,” he rued.

“We told that a central expert team should visit both the states to assess water level, inflow and outflow, and crop situation in both states and then submit a report. On the basis of that report, it would be easy to take a decision,” he added.

The Tamil Nadu government insisted on implementing the Supreme Court 27 September order to release 6,000 cusecs of water in three days and setting up of a Cauvery Management Board, the Chief Minister added.

Karnataka had deferred release of water as directed the apex court awaiting the outcome of Thursday’s meeting.

Ally Mehbooba Mufti toes different line, express dismay over the non-participation of leaders SAARC summit

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after India decided to boycott the SAARC summit in protest against Uri terror attack, Centre’s ally and Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti expressed dismay over the non-participation of the various leaders in the meeting scheduled to be held in Islamabad in November.”It is unfortunate that while other countries are forging new economic ties, the SAARC countries are going in the reverse direction,” Mehbooba said in a statement released by the J&K information department quoting her address at the launch of Pradhan Mantri Ujwala Yojana here on Wednesday..On Tuesday, India formally conveyed to SAARC chair Nepal that the government of India is unable to participate in the proposed Summit in Islamabad. “India has conveyed to current SAARC chair Nepal that increasing cross-border terrorist attacks in the region and growing interference in the internal affairs of Member States by one country have created an environment that is not conducive to the successful holding of the 19th SAARC summit in Islamabad in November 2016. In the prevailing circumstances, the Government of India is unable to participate in the proposed Summit in Islamabad,” the Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release.Showing their support to India, three other SAARC countries –Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Bhutan—too hinted at boycotting the summit in Islamabad. Mehbooba however pitched for amicable relations between India and Pakistan to fight the poverty and economic deprivation plaguing the region while underlining the need of a bilateral dialogue to resolve the issues.”The two nuclear armed neighbors must cooperate in the fields of social development, including eradication of poverty and with their growing economies and energy needs, and the need for newer, more diverse markets and trading opportunities, the future of the troubled region has to be defined by common economic interests instead of hostilities,” she said.Mehbooba noted that instead of fighting wars with each other, the two countries should join hands to eradicate poverty and to address social problems plaguing the region. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi went to Pakistan with this message on behalf of people of J&K but the Pathankote incident shattered that process,” she said.Reacting to the reports that the Centre is in the process of reviewing the Indus Water Treaty, Mehbooba said the agreement, while being beneficial to India and Pakistan, is not in the interest of Jammu and Kashmir. “However, if the two countries can mutually share the water resources, why not their other resources?” she askedUnder fire for mishandling the situation post Burhan Wani’s killing, Mehbooba pleaded for another chance in a bid to restore peace in the restive valley.”Give us a chance… I request you. Help us in restoring peace… Persuade your kids (not to pelt stones)”, an embattled Mehbooba requested the gathering with folded hands.More than 86 people have been killed and over 12000 others injured since the unrest began after the killing of Hizbul Mujhadeen leader Burhan Muzaffar Wani on July 8.

Cauvery row: Karnataka defies SC again, defers water release to Tamil Nadu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Karnataka government has decided to defer the release of water to Tamil Nadu even as the Supreme Court on Monday directed it to release 6,000 cusecs of water every day to Tamil Nadu for next three days. This is the second time in a row that the Karnataka government has refused to comply with the SC decision over Cauvery water release.The state government would now take a decision after the meeting of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with the Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti and the officials from the Tamil Nadu government.Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who is walking a tightrope, told the reporters after an all-party meeting that the decision has been taken to defer the release of water by a day after the opposition parties advised the government to wait for one more day till the state’s meeting with the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government is held.Siddaramaiah had earlier said that the priority is to supply drinking water to Bengaluru city and areas in the Cauvery basin. The higher riparian state had cited the reason of inadequate water reserves in its four reservoirs for deferring the water release to the neighbouring state.After succeeding in bringing his rivals on the same page, which helped pass a unanimous resolution in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly, against the SC order earlier, Siddaramaiah on Wednesday chaired an all-party meeting in Bengaluru yet again to decide over the water row.The leading opposition party BJP which was earlier flayed for not taking a stand against the release of water to Tamil Nadu on Wednesday again made it clear that it supports the interests of the people of Karnataka over Cauvery water row.Former Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition Jagadish Shettar said that the BJP has suggested to the government that it should honour the September 23 resolution of the State Legislative Assembly which said that the water should be released only for drinking purposes to Bengaluru and Cauvery catchment areas.The apex court, however, set aside the Karnataka Legislative Assembly resolution and ordered for an immediate release of water to Tamil Nadu.

Indus Waters Treaty: No one country can unilaterally separate itself from the pact, says Nawaz Sharif

Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said the Indus Water Treaty was a mutually agreed arrangement between India and Pakistan brokered by the World Bank and no one country can unilaterally separate itself from the treaty.

Sharif made the remarks at a high-level meeting here wherein he asserted that Pakistan was fully capable of meeting any internal or external security threat.

“The meeting expressed deep concern on the increase in systematic human rights violations in Kashmir and strongly condemned brutal use of force by Indian security forces,” according to statement issued after the meeting.

Addressing the meeting, the prime minister said that the Indus Water Treaty was mutually agreed arrangement between India and Pakistan brokered by the World Bank in 1960 and no one country can unilaterally separate itself from the treaty.

Nawaz Sharif. AP

Nawaz Sharif. AP

On Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with officials to review provisions of the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan.

In that meeting it was decided that India will “exploit to the maximum” the water of Pakistan-controlled rivers, including Jhelum, as per the water-sharing pact.

Pakistan next day approached the World Bank, with senior its officials taking up the matter with the international lender which had mediated the water-sharing deal.

Sharif said the violence on Kashmiris for their right to self-determination, promised by UN resolutions, will never be tolerated and the “oppressed Kashmiris deserve not only Pakistan’s support but also the support of the entire world”.

He said that Pakistan will continue to extend its moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris until the issue of Kashmir is resolved as per aspirations of Kashmiri people.

Sharif said that the world is a witness that Pakistan has given tremendous sacrifices for global peace.

He said Pakistan has shown unequalled and unprecedented restraint despite great provocation.

He said that Pakistan will continue to struggle for a peaceful South Asia with a view to enable its people to achieve progress and prosperity of the 21st century.

The meeting also reviewed other matters pertaining to national and regional security and expressed satisfaction over the preparedness of the armed forces to defend the territorial integrity of Pakistan.

Federal Ministers Nisar Ali and Ishaq Dar, army chief General Raheel Sharif, National Security Advisor Nasser Janjua, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry, Director General Military Operations and senior civil and military officials attended the meeting.

Cauvery row: Opposition in Karnataka against release of water to Tamil Nadu as per SC’s fresh order

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Opposition in Karnataka on Wednesday asked the state government at an all party meeting in Bengaluru not to release till Thursday 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu as per the Supreme Court’s fresh order.The state cabinet which would meet later in the day would take a final decision on the matter, Parliamentary Affairs and Law Minister T B Jayachandra told reporters after the meeting called by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah in the wake of the situation arising out of the apex court’s order on Tuesday.Though the Minister declined to divulge the views expressed by the Opposition leaders, they later told the media that they have opposed release of water.”The Opposition–the BJP, JDS and Raitha Sangha–have expressed their views and we have heard them fully. Ultimately the cabinet will sit and take a decision,” he said.Floor leaders of both the Houses, MPs and legislators and district in charge ministers from the Cauvery basin attended the meeting to take stock of the fresh development.The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit had directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs water to Tamil Nadu till September 30, despite a resolution passed by the state legislature last week to use the water only for drinking purpose.The Centre has also called a meeting of the two warring riparian states in New Delhi on Thursday to thrash out a solution to the raging row over release of water.Asked if any suggestions were made advising the government to defer release of water till Thursday, Jayachandra said he would not like to into the details for now.”No, I don’t want to go into the details. We have considered and we have heard them (the opposition and the legal experts). We will take a final decision in the cabinet,” Jayachandra said.Asked to react to the Opposition BJP Leader Jagadish Shettar’s suggestion not to release water on Wednesday, Jayachandra said, “I wouldn’t like to comment on it now, but would do so after the cabinet meeting.”On whether it would amount to contempt of court if Karnataka defers releasing water to Tamil Nadu, Jayachandra said, “At this point of time I do not want to react to it.” Earlier, Shettar said BJP has suggested that the government should honour the September 23 legislature resolution signalling Karnataka’s inability to implement the court’s earlier direction to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from September 21 till September 27.”Our party has placed our suggestion before the government to honour its decision taken during the special legislature session,” he said.The legislature at its session on September 23 had adopted a unanimous resolution to use the water only to meet drinking water needs and not to provide it for any other purpose.BJP also advised government not to release water, not before the chief ministers’ meeting to be chaired by Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati in Delhi on Thursday, Shettar said.JDS spokesperson Y S V Datta said the government should not release water on Wednesday as it would not matter much because the flow of water, anyhow, has increased after a few spells of rainfall in downstream areas of Cauvery basin.He also said the government should not go back on its decision taken in the assembly.

Cauvery issue: Siddaramaiah says ‘what judges say doesn’t become law’; Cabinet all-party meet begins

An all-party meeting of the Karnataka government to deliberate and decide on the Supreme Court order to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu for three days starting Wednesday has begun, reported ANI.

The meeting of floor leaders of both the Houses in Karnataka cabinet, MPs and legislators and district in-charge ministers from the Cauvery basin on Wednesday morning will discuss the Supreme Court directions and the future course of action, official sources said.

Reserving his reaction to the Supreme Court’s fresh direction, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said that he would consult legal experts and maintained that drinking water is a priority.

“I’m yet to speak to legal experts, I don’t know about the order. I will speak to our advocates and react later,” he told media in Bidar in north Karnataka.

To a question on Tamil Nadu’s arguments against utilising Cauvery river water for Bengaluru, The Hindu quoted Siddaramaiah as saying, “The priority is for drinking water according to our national water policy (2012). So when they [Supreme Court judges] say release water, it immediately does not become a law or an order.”

HD Deve Gowda and Siddaramaiah at an all-party meet on Cauvery Issue last Saturday. PTI

HD Deve Gowda and Siddaramaiah at an all-party meet on Cauvery Issue last Saturday. PTI

The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and UU Lalit on Tuesday directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs water to Tamil Nadu for three days, despite the resolution
passed by the state legislature last week to use the water only for drinking purpose.

The state legislature had signalled its inability to implement the court’s earlier direction to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from 21 September till on Wednesday.

A special session of the legislature had on Friday adopted a unanimous resolution to use the water only to meet drinking water needs and not to provide it for any other purpose.

Following the apex court’s fresh directions, sporadic protests erupted in Mandya, Mysuru, and nearby areas.

Mandya Zilla Raitha Hitharakshana Samiti (MZRHS), at the forefront of Cauvery agitation, said there was no change in its stand that water should not be released to Tamil Nadu.

Samiti president Made Gowda said, “Water should not be released at any cost … they (Tamil Nadu) have enough water for their crops, they are doing vendetta politics.”

Police, as a precautionary measure, have made elaborate security arrangements in Cauvery basin areas, especially Mandya and Bengaluru.

Bengaluru city has been placed under prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC.

Calling the Supreme Court’s direction to Karnataka to release 18,000 cusecs of water for three days as “grossly unfair” and “unfortunate”, state BJP president BS Yeddyurappa said the party will stand by any decision taken by the Siddaramaiah government in the interest of the farmers and the people.

Alleging that the Congress leaders continue to indulge in “cheap politicking” on the issue by dragging the Centre in it, he said they have “misinterpreted” and “twisted” one of the comments of the judges.

“The apex court asked the Attorney General whether it is possible for the intervention of the Union government in this issue. The AG sought time to reply to this question. At no point in time, the apex court mentioned about the intervention of the Prime Minister,” he added.

Cauvery row: Section 144 imposed in Bengaluru until September 30

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Reserving his reaction to the Supreme Court’s fresh direction to the state to release 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for three days, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Tuesday said he would consult legal experts and maintained that drinking water is a priority. Meanwhile, the Bengaluru Police imposed Section 144 in Bengaluru until September 30.”I’m yet to speak to legal experts, I don’t know about the order. I will speak to our advocates and react later,” he told reporters in Bidar in north Karnataka.To a question on Tamil Nadu’s arguments against utilising Cauvery river water for Bengaluru, he said, “Drinking water is a priority. It is a priority according to our water policy also. If they (Tamil Nadu) say don’t give water, it will not become a law or an order.”The Chief Minister has convened a meeting of floor leaders of both the Houses, MPs and legislators and district in charge ministers from the Cauvery basin tomorrow morning to take stock of the fresh development, official sources said.According to official sources, the cabinet meeting which is scheduled for tomorrow, will discuss the Supreme Court directions and the future course of action. The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit today directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs water to Tamil Nadu for three days, despite the resolution passed by the state legislature last week to use the water only for drinking purpose. The state legislature had signalled its inability to implement the court’s earlier direction to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from September 21 till today.A special session of the legislature had on Friday adopted a unanimous resolution to use the water only to meet drinking water needs and not to provide it for any other purpose. Following the apex court’s fresh directions, sporadic protests erupted in Mandya, Mysuru and nearby areas.Mandya Zilla Raitha Hitharakshana Samiti (MZRHS), at the forefront of Cauvery agitation, said there was no change in its stand that water should not be released to Tamil Nadu. Samiti president Made Gowda said, “Water should not be released at any cost … they (Tamil Nadu) have enough water for their crops, they are doing vendetta politics.”Sec 144 imposed in Bengaluru until Sept 30Police, as a precautionary measure, have made elaborate security arrangements in Cauvery basin areas, especially Mandya and Bengaluru. Bengaluru city has been placed under prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC.Calling the Supreme Court’s direction to Karnataka to release 18,000 cusecs of water for three days as “grossly unfair” and “unfortunate”, state BJP president B S Yeddyurappa said the party will stand by any decision taken by the Siddaramaiah government in the interest of the farmers and the people.Alleging that the Congress leaders continue to indulge in “cheap politicking” on the issue by dragging the Centre in it, he said they have “misinterpreted” and “twisted” one of the comments of the judges.”The apex court asked the Attorney General whether it is possible for the intervention of the Union government in this issue. The AG sought time to reply to this question. At no point in time, the apex court mentioned about the intervention of the Prime Minister,” he added.

Cauvery row: Jaya holds meeting in hospital, finalises team to discuss with Karnataka

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Holding an official meeting on the Cauvery row at a hospital in Chennai where she is being treated, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday deputed a cabinet colleague to attend a meeting with her Karnataka counterpart and the Centre as suggested by the Supreme Court on the issue. Hours after the Supreme Court asked the Centre to convene a meeting of executive heads of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to solve the inter-state Cauvery row, she nominated state PWD Minister Edappadi S Palanisamy to represent the state in the meeting, to be held in the next two days.Jayalalithaa, undergoing treatment for fever and dehydration, held an hour-long consultation with state Chief Secretary P Ramamohana Rao, Advocate General R Muthukumarasamy and other senior state officials at the Apollo Hospital in the city, where she was admitted on September 22. She “was apprised” of the directions of the Supreme Court to Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu for the next three days besides asking the Centre to convene a meeting of the two chief ministers to find a solution to the impasse over water release, an official release said.”The chief minister was apprised that the Supreme Court had directed the Attorney General to facilitate a meeting with Executive Heads of the States of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka with the Ministry of Water Resources to recommend ways to break the impasse on the issue,” it said.Jayalalithaa was informed that the meeting was likely to be scheduled on September 29 and she directed the PWD Minister, the Chief Secretary, PWD Principal Secretary S K Prabakar, and Chairman, Cauvery Technical Cell, R Subramaniam to attend the meeting on behalf of Tamil Nadu, the release said. She discussed in detail the issues to be taken up by Tamil Nadu at the meeting and also “dictated” her speech which will be read out there by Rao, it said.The chief minister was also apprised of the applications filed by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka with reference to the apex court’s earlier orders this month on water release. She was briefed about the application filed by Tamil Nadu that Karnataka shall not be heard on any matter on Cauvery until and unless it complies with and makes good the shortfall in releases as directed by the Supreme Court, it said.Earlier in the day, the apex court directed Karnataka to discharge 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu till Friday inspite of Karnataka Assembly resolution expressing the state’s inability to release water. The court also called for a political solution to the impasse by convening a meeting of chief ministers of the two states and the Centre.

Revocation of Indus treaty will be ‘act of war’ says Pakistan, China reacts cautiously

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Pakistan on Tuesday warned India that unilateral revocation of the 56-year-old Indus Waters Treaty would be treated as an “act of war” saying it could also approach the UN and the International Court of Justice if the water-sharing pact is suspended.”It is the most successful water treaty ever conducted between two countries. Its revocation can be treated as an act of war or a hostile action against Pakistan,” the country’s top diplomat Sartaj Aziz said here. Pakistan will also approach the UN and the International Court of Justice if India suspends the treaty, he said. He said Pakistan is considering drawing attention of the international community on the dangers of such an action if it is considered seriously.”The international law states that India cannot unilaterally separate itself from the treaty,” Aziz, Advisor to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Foreign Affairs, said while briefing the National Assembly on the issue. He said unilateral revocation of the treaty can pose a threat to Pakistan and its economy warning that any interruption in the water flow would serve as an example to usurp the right of lower riparian states.He said that if India violates the treaty, Pakistan can approach the International Court of Justice. “This Indian act can be taken as breach of international peace and hence giving Pakistan a good reason to approach the UN Security Council,” Aziz said. He said the treaty was not suspended even during the Kargil and Siachen wars, adding even India could suffer if the flow of its rivers was disturbed by China.Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday chaired a review meeting of the Indus Water Treaty during which it was decided that India will “exploit to the maximum” the water of Pakistan-controlled rivers, including Jhelum, as per the water-sharing pact. The meeting came as India weighed its options to hit back at Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri terror attack that left 18 soldiers dead, triggering demands that the government scrap the water-sharing deal to mount pressure on the country.Under the treaty, which was signed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan President Ayub Khan in September 1960, waters of six rivers – Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum – were to be shared between the two countries.Pakistan has been complaining about not receiving enough water and gone for international arbitration in a couple of cases.China’s reaction: China today reacted guardedly to India’s decision to suspend talks with Pakistan under Indus Water Treaty, saying it hopes the two countries can “properly” address disputes and improve ties through dialogue and consultation.”As a friendly neighbour to both India and Pakistan, China hopes that India and Pakistan can properly address disputes and improve relations through dialogue and consultation, maintain and enhance all-round cooperation and join hands to promote regional peace, stability and development,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told PTI in a written response.His response came to a question on India’s decision to hold the talks between Commissioners of the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) only when the atmosphere was free from cross border terrorism.Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday chaired a review meeting of 56-year-old Indus Water Treaty during which it was decided that India will “exploit to the maximum” the water of Pakistan-controlled rivers, including Jhelum, as per the water sharing pact.The meeting came as India weighed its options to hit back at Pakistan in the aftermath of the Uri attack that left 18 soldiers dead, triggering demands that the government scrap the water distribution pact to mount pressure on that country. Under the treaty, which was signed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan President Ayub Khan in September 1960, water of six rivers — Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum — were to be shared between the two countries.

Cauvery dispute: Section 144 imposed in Bengaluru till 30 September following SC order

Section 144 was imposed in Bengaluru till 30 September midnight on Tuesday after the Supreme Court directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for three days, ANI reported.

“We direct the state of Karnataka to release 6000 cusecs of water from tomorrow i.e. 28 September, 2016. We are sure that the state of Karnataka shall obey the order without any kind of impediment, obstruction or any other attitude till we take up the matter on September 30,” a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit said.

Refusing to go into the issue of non-compliance of its earlier orders by Karnataka for the time being, the court said the water, released so far, will be adjusted in the “eventual adjudication” and Tuesday’s order should be complied with “despite the resolution that has been brought on record”.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

“We have issued this direction keeping in mind the deliberation that has taken place and, therefore, we think it appropriate that the state of Karnataka shall follow the order passed by us,” the bench said.

“We ingeminate and repeat at the cost of repetition that the direction for release of water has been passed for the coming three days despite the resolution passed,” it said.

During the hearing, Nariman came out with all guns blazing, saying “we simply cannot comply with the directions. We accede to the prayers of Tamil Nadu and we should not be heard till end of the (monsoon) season.”

The bench said it will hear the state and then asked Karnataka whether the order would be complied at the end of the season.

“Only God knows” was the response of Nariman who said it depended on how much rain the Cauvery basin received due to the north-eastern monsoon.

In its plea before the apex court yesterday, Karnataka had sought modification of its order asking it to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, saying it could release the water only by the end of the year, as it first needs to provide for its own state for drinking purposes.

The Karnataka assembly had last week passed a unanimous resolution during a special session directing the state to release the water only for drinking purposes to Bengaluru and regions surrounding Cauvery basin.

Seeking Centre’s assistance for finding a politica solution to the impasse by bringing both chief ministers on the negotiating table, the bench said that it is not the case that this court “cannot adjudicate or pass appropriate orders in accordance with law”.

“We have asked for this not because this court cannot adjudicate or pass appropriate orders in accordance with law to maintain and sustain the rule of law and majesty of law which are elan vital of our constitutional law, but prior to that we have thought it appropriate that there has to be discussion” giving regard to the conceptual federalism prevalent in “our democratic body polity”, it said.

Senior advocates F S Nariman and Shekhar Naphade, representing Karnataka and Tamil Nadu respectively, agreed to the suggestion mooted by the court for the meeting of heads of two states with the central authorities.

While the order was being dictated by the bench, Nariman, appearing for Karnataka, vehemently opposed any direction asking the state to release water, saying there was “no logic in it” and the order amounted to “a direct confrontation”.

Blaming Karnataka’s “obstructionist and obstinate” attitude for the impasse and non-compliance of the apex court directives, Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, submitted: “On instruction, I am saying that the state (Tamil Nadu) is fed up. We are simply tired of this litigation. We are not getting what is our legitimate rights.”

“We are in a federal structure and in a democracy like India, no state can say it will not obey the Supreme Court’s order. You cannot pick up fight with everyone. It is not about Karnataka or Tamil Nadu or any state, there has to be federal cooperativism,” the bench said, asking both states to cooperate in finding a solution to the water feud.

The bench, on being repeatedly pursued by Tamil Nadu to get its orders enforced, said, “Have patience for few days.

This is not an ordinary litigation. Let us see how things shape up.”

At the outset, the Tamil Nadu counsel said the 20 September order of the apex court asking Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu has not been complied with and rather, “in complete defiance, a resolution has been passed by their state assembly that it cannot spare water for us.”

The counsel for Tamil Nadu said, “Karnataka should not be heard till it complies with the orders.”

Naphade said Tamil Nadu was fed up of this litigation and urged the apex court to exercise its “extraordinary” powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to enforce its orders.

Rebutting the submission, Nariman said that monthly installments of water, to be released to Tamil Nadu, can only be assessed at the end of the season and right now, there was insufficient water in Karnataka’s reservoirs.

“There is no dispute that monthly allocation is not fixed. That is why the Cauvery Management Board was to decide how much is the rainfall and how much water could be released.

We can understand the difficulties of the state (Karnataka). What is your (Karnataka) suggestion for compliance of directions,” the bench observed.

Noticing the conflicting positions of both the states, the bench, which had asked the Attorney General to stay back in the courtroom, came out with the suggestion that he should facilitate a meeting between the heads of the states with the Centre to find a solution to the logjam and apprise it of the outcome on 30 September, the next date of hearing.

With inputs from PTI

Cauvery row: SC calls for political solution between Karnataka, Tamil Nadu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A day after Karnataka expressed inability to release Cauvery water, Supreme Court on Tuesday asked it to discharge 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu till Friday despite its assembly resolution, but called for a political solution to the impasse by convening of a meeting of Chief Ministers of the two states and the Centre.The apex court, which was strongly urged by Tamil Nadu not to hear Karnataka till it complied with the previous orders, asked Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi to facilitate a meeting of the executive heads of both states with the Centre over the next two days to find a resolution to the impasse.”We think it appropriate that Karnataka releases 6,000 cusecs water to Tamil Nadu in three days by following the order passed by us, despite the resolution passed by the assembly,” a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit said.While the order was being dictated by the bench, senior advocate F S Nariman, appearing for Karnataka, vehemently opposed any direction asking the state to release water, saying there was “no logic in it” and the order amounted to “a direct confrontation”.There has to be federal co-operativism: SCBlaming Karnataka’s “obstructionist and obstinate” attitude for the impasse and non-compliance of the apex court directives, senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, submitted: “On instruction, I am saying that the state (Tamil Nadu) is fed up. We are simply tired of this litigation. We are not getting what is our legitimate rights.””We are in a federal structure and in a democracy like India, no state can say it will not obey the Supreme Court’s order. You cannot pick up fight with everyone. It is not about Karnataka or Tamil Nadu or any state, there has to be federal cooperativism ,” the bench said, asking both states to cooperate in finding a solution to the water feud.The bench, on being repeatedly pursued by Tamil Nadu to get its orders enforced, said, “Have patience for few days. This is not an ordinary litigation. Let us see how things shape up.”In its plea before the apex court on Monday, Karnataka had sought modification of its order asking it to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, saying it could release the water only by the end of the year, as it first needs to provide for its own state for drinking purposes.The Karnataka assembly had last week passed a unanimous resolution during a special session directing the state to release the water only for drinking purposes to Bengaluru and regions surrounding Cauvery basin.Karnataka should not be heard till it complies with the orders: Tamil Nadu counselAt the outset, the bench asked Naphade to apprise it about the prevailing situation. The Tamil Nadu counsel said the September 20 order of the apex court asking Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu has not been complied with and rather,”in complete defiance, a resolution has been passed by their state assembly that it cannot spare water for us.””Karnataka should not be heard till it complies with the orders,” he said, adding that Tamil Nadu was fed up of this litigation and urged the apex court to exercise its “extra ordinary” powers under Article 142 of the Constitution to enforce its orders.Nariman came out with all guns blazing, saying “we simply cannot comply with the directions. We accede to the prayers of Tamil Nadu and we should not be heard till end of the (monsoon) season.” The bench said it will hear the state and then asked Karnataka whether the order would be complied at the end of the season.”Only God knows” was the response of Nariman who said it depended on how much rain the Cauvery basin received due to the north-eastern monsoon.Monthly installments of water, to be released to Tamil Nadu, can only be assessed at the end of the season and right now, there was insufficient water in Karnataka’s reservoirs, he said criticising the decision of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) and the Supervisory Committee on the issue.”There is no dispute that monthly allocation is not fixed. That is why the Cauvery Management Board was to decide how much is the rainfall and how much water could be released.We can understand the difficulties of the state (Karnataka). What is your (Karnataka) suggestion for compliance of directions,” the bench said.SC suggests meeting between heads of states with CentreNoticing the conflicting positions of both the states, the bench, which had asked the Attorney General to stay back in the courtroom, came out with the suggestion that he should facilitate a meeting between the heads of the states with the Centre to find a solution to the logjam and apprise it of the outcome on September 30, the next date of hearing.The Attorney General submitted that the order of the court needed to be complied with and offered his assistance in facilitating the meeting between the heads of two states.”I am aware of the interim order of this court. The majesty of the court has to be upheld and orders need to be complied with,” Rohatgi said.Karnataka on Monday had moved the court seeking modification of its order to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu saying its reservoirs did not have sufficient water. Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, alleged that its neighbhour should not be heard till it complied with directives of the Supreme Court and the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT).On September 20, the apex court had directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu till September 27, doubling the quantum fixed by the Supervisory Committee.The apex court had on September 20 also directed the Centre to constitute within four weeks the Cauvery Water Management Board (CWMB) as directed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) in its award.On September 12, the apex court had asked both states to ensure that law and order prevails. It had modified its earlier order on sharing of Cauvery water and directed Karnataka to release 12,000 cusecs instead of 15,000 cusecs per day till September 20 to Tamil Nadu.

India to speed up hydropower building on rivers flowing into Pakistan – source

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>India will accelerate its building of new hydropower plants along three rivers that flow into Pakistan, a source familiar with the plan said on Monday, in a move likely to aggravate already tense relations with its neighbour a week after an attack on an Indian army base.Disagreements over how to share the waters of the Indus and other rivers have dogged relations between the nuclear-armed arch-rivals since independence in 1947.The dispute looks set to be reignited after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told officials on Monday that India should use more of the rivers’ resources, speaking a week after the September 18 attack on an army base in the disputed region of Kashmir that New Delhi blames on Pakistan, a source with knowledge of the meeting attended by Modi said.India has vowed to respond to the raid, in which at least 18 of its soldiers were killed, but any military option risks escalation. Some officials have called for a renewed diplomatic offensive instead. Modi said on Saturday that India would mount a global campaign to isolate Pakistan, including through the United Nations, where Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj spoke on Monday.India has long accused Pakistan of backing militant groups operating in the Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir, through which several of the countries’ shared rivers flow. Pakistan denies the allegations and says India has not provided adequate proof to support its claims. A spokesman for Pakistan’s foreign office did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Modi’s hydropower plans.At Monday’s meeting, Modi and officials discussed ways to increase exploitation of the Chenab, Jhelum and Indus rivers but said they would not violate a long-standing water treaty between the countries in the process. “We want to see that all these (hydropower) projects are put on a really fast-track basis,” the source told Reuters, speaking on the condition he was not named because of the sensitivity of the meeting.”Our entire approach was done to create an atmosphere of goodwill. But in this atmosphere, we want to exploit all our rights under the (Indus Water) treaty,” the source said.The Indus Water Treaty was signed in 1960 in a bid to resolve disputes, but India’s ambitious irrigation plans and construction of thousands of upstream dams has continued to annoy Pakistan, which depends on snow-fed Himalayan rivers for everything from drinking water to agriculture.India says its use of upstream water is strictly in line with the 1960 agreement. The potential for a military conflict between India and Pakistan over water has long worried observers. India and Pakistan have fought two of their three wars over Kashmir.India currently generates about 3,000 megawatts of energy from hydropower plants along rivers in its portion of Kashmir, but believes the region has the potential to produce 18,000 megawatts, the source said.New Delhi will also review whether to restart construction of the Tulbul navigation project, which was suspended several years ago. The project proposes diverting water from one of the shared rivers to a city in Indian-administered Kashmir that could impact flows downstream, the source said. A spokesman for Modi’s office declined to comment.

Supreme Court to hear Karnataka , Tamil Nadu’s pleas on Cauvery water dispute today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments on Monday approached the Supreme Court with their respective pleas against each other over the release of Cauvery water for both the states.Karnataka, which passed a resolution last week not to release the water, citing shortage of drinking water for its people, moved an application seeking modification of the September 20, order of Supreme Court.The state government filed application in the morning for permission to postpone the implementation of the court order to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu till January 2017. It said it has come to court after witnessing its people’s “acute situation of distress” due to scarcity of drinking water.It also said its reservoirs do not have sufficient water to supply to its cities including Bengaluru.The State, represented by advocate Mohan Katarki, reproduced the unanimous resolution passed by both Houses of the State on September 23, that no water should be taken from its reservoirs except to meet the drinking water requirements of the people of the State, including the entire city of Bengaluru.It said this amount of water, for the time being, would have to be treated as “arrears” to be paid back to Tamil Nadu by the end of the season.Within hours of the filing of this application, Tamil Nadu hit back by filing an application of its own followed by an urgent mentioning in the post-lunch session before a Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra. The Bench agreed to list the application on September 27. The Bench on September 20 had directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu till September 27, while raising the quantum fixed by the Supervisory Committee by 3,000 cusecs.Directing both the states to ensure “law and order” to prevails in their states, the court also ordered asking Centre to constitute within four weeks the Cauvery Water Management Board (CWMB) as directed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) in its award.Tamil Nadu asked the apex court not to entertain any one of Karnataka’s pleas until it complied with each and every one of the series of three orders the Supreme Court passed for release of Cauvery water. It called Karnataka’s maneouvres as a “conscious refusal” to release water to Tamil Nadu.”The State of Karnataka is acting as judge in its own cause and refusing to comply with the orders passed by this court by consciously failing to ensure the release in spite of the matter being sub-judice before this court,” the Tamil Nadu application filed by advocate G Umapathy said.Tamil Nadu countered that Karnataka’s stand that it required the entire storage of water in its four reservoirs to meet drinking water requirements was “totally untenable”.Recounting how Karnataka had issued an Ordinance in 1991 to stall the release of Cauvery water, it said on that occasion, the apex court, while quashing the ordinance, had termed Karnataka’s move as “an invitation to lawlessness and anarchy”.

It’s upto govt to calibrate action in Indus waters treaty: Congress

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –> Congress on Monday said it was upto the government to calibrate action on the Indus Water Treaty even as termed the pact as another element in the multi-pronged multi-faceted approach against Pakistan.”Indus Water Treaty is yet another element in the multi- pronged multi-faceted approach against Pakistan. “These are ultimately for the Government to calibrate and it does not necessarily start from abrogation although let me remind you that Article 62 of the Vienna Convention provides for such withdrawal,” party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said at the Congress briefing.He said that short of withdrawal also, there are “many other methodologies and methods” available to the government. Citing an example, he said, India can construct many more dams, which are allowed under the Treaty.At the same time, he made it clear that he was not making any suggestions or demands. “There are many options. All I can say is that we cannot be silent spectator to the muscular jingoism everyday with no action on the ground.”

Cauvery row: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu spar in Supreme Court

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Karnataka on Monday moved Supreme Court seeking modification of its order to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu saying its reservoirs did not have sufficient water, even as the two states indulged in a fresh legal tug of war, pressing their conflicting grievances.While Karnataka sought modification of September 20 order of the apex court, Tamil Nadu alleged that its neighbour should not be heard till it complied with directives of the Supreme Court and the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT). Earlier in the day, Karnataka said it was not in a position to release water to Tamil Nadu on various grounds including that its reservoirs did not have sufficient water and hence the order needed to be modified.Tamil Nadu, being aggrieved by the non-compliance of apex court order, said “the state of Karnataka is acting as judge in its own cause and refusing to comply with the orders passed by this court by consciously failing to ensure the release inspite of the matter being sub-judice before this court”. “The present is a case where the instrumentalities of the state in utter defiance to the constitutional mandate have failed to honour and obey the order passed by this court.”It is reiterated that the State of Karnataka and its instrumentalities are bound to obey the order and the failure to do the same, amounts to recurring contempt of this court’s order dated September 20 and the earlier orders,” the Tamil Nadu plea said. The pleas of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are likely to come up for hearing tomorrow.On September 20, the apex court had directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu till September 27, doubling the quantum fixed by the Supervisory Committee. The apex court had on September 20 also directed the Centre to constitute within four weeks the Cauvery Water Management Board (CWMB) as directed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) in its award.On September 12, the apex court had asked both states to ensure that law and order prevails.It had modified its earlier order on sharing of Cauvery water and directed Karnataka to release 12,000 cusecs instead of 15,000 cusecs per day till September 20 to Tamil Nadu.

SC refuses urgent hearing on PIL seeking declaration of Indus Water Treaty as unconstitutional

Mon, 26 Sep 2016-01:12pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Supreme Court on Monday refused to grant an urgent hearing on a PIL seeking declaration of the India-Pakistan Indus Water Treaty as unconstitutional.”There is no urgency in the matter. It will come up for hearing in due course,” a bench comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justice A M Khanwilkar said.Advocate M L Sharma, who filed the PIL in his personal capacity on the issue, sought urgent hearing of the matter saying the treaty was unconstitutional as it was not signed as per the constitutional scheme and hence should be declared “void ab initio”.”Keep politics aside. The matter will come in due course,” the bench said when the lawyer insisted on an urgent hearing.

Cauvery row: Karnataka moves SC seeking modification of its order; expresses inability to release water to TN

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Karnataka government on Monday moved Supreme Court seeking the modification of its order asking to release 6,000 Cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. Karnataka expressed the inability to release water as directed by the apex court, saying its reservoirs don’t have adequate water and that it can only provide it to the state in December.The Supreme Court verdict had asked the state government to release 6,000 cusecs of water every day to Tamil Nadu till September, 27, which according to legal experts may signal a constitutional crisis in the state.on Friday, Karnataka’s Legislative Council passed a resolution to only release water for the purpose of meeting basic concerns of Bengaluru and Cauvery basin on Friday. The Cauvery Supervisory Committee had on September 19 asked Karnataka to release 3,000 cusecs per day from September 21 to 30, but the apex court had on September 20, doubled the quantum to 6,000 cusecs from September 21 to 27 after Tamil Nadu pressed for water to save its samba paddy crop.It had also directed the Centre to constitute within four weeks the Cauvery Water Management Board as directed by Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in its award.

PM Modi to deliberate on pros and cons of Indus Waters Treaty on Monday

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to ANI sources, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti and senior officials will brief PM Modi on the Indus Water Treaty on Monday. PM will be discussing the pros and cons of taking action against Pakistan, and that reconsidering the details of Indus Water Treaty might be one of the possible moves to cause discomfort to Pakistan.The Indus Water Treaty was signed between Pandit Nehru and Pak president General Ayub Khan in 1960. The treaty has stood two full-scale wars and withdrawing the treaty has risks since it’s an international agreement and legally India can’t withdraw from it alone. The Indus originated in China, who haven’t signed any international treaties, and if it plays foul, then India could lose as much as much as 36% river water. Under the original agreement India has rights over three rivers that flow westward – Sutlej, Beas and Ravi – while Pakistan receives water from the other three – Jhelum, Chenab and Indus.There was no confirmation of the reports. The officials of the ministries of Water Resources and External Affairs denied any such knowledge of a meeting being convened by the Prime Minister. There have been consistent calls in India that the government scrap the water distribution pact to mount pressure on Pakistan in the aftermath of audacious Uri terror attack earlier this week. Under the treaty, which was signed by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Pakistan President Ayub Khan in September 1960, water of six river – Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum – were to be shared between the two countries.Pakistan has been complaining of not receiving enough water and gone for international arbitration in couple of cases. Former diplomat Rajiv Dogra told ANI: “Taking a step against Pak artists I’m not in favour of. As a State, individuals aren’t affected. Most Favoured Nation status to Pak should be withdrawn, our nationals should be advised its dangerous to go to Pak. Look at prisoner Ansari in Pak, he has finished his jail term and yet we aren’t allowed consular access to him. It will need a lot of effort and time if India wants Pakistan to be isolated. Indus Waters Treaty has a provision for revision. First we should ascertain the reality and the facts. Last week Pakistan Parl passed a irresolution asking for revision of Indus Waters Treaty. We will be fooling ourselves if we think we will any violate international law if we revise Indus Waters Treaty.”Earlier, Jammu and Kashmir Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh said a rethink was required on the Indus Waters Treaty, 1960, as Pakistan has been consistent in not respecting it. The Indus Waters treaty has been an issue since its inception. Jammu and Kashmir believes that it is at a loss and the concessions given to Pakistan are more than it should have been given. It is a good thing that rethinking on this issue has been initiated by the central government and it conveys a positive message to Jammu and Kashmir,’ he said.The Indus Waters Treaty is a water-sharing arrangement signed by former Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and martial law administrator General Ayub Khan on September 19, 1960, in Karachi. It covers the water distribution and sharing rights of six rivers — Beas, Ravi, Sutlej, Indus, Chenab and Jhelum. The agreement was brokered by the World Bank The agreement was signed because the source of all the rivers of the Indus Basin were in India (Indus and Sutlej, though, originate in China). It allowed India to use them for irrigation, transport and power generation, while laying down precise do’s and don’ts for India on building projects along the way. Singh also maintained that the Central Government is rethinking on the treaty which would send a positive message to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The treaty gave the three “eastern rivers” of Beas, Ravi and Sutlej to India for use of water without restriction. The three “western rivers” of Indus, Chenab and Jhelum were allocated to Pakistan. India can construct storage facilities on “western rivers” of up to 3.6 million acre feet, which it has not done so far. India is also allowed agriculture use of 7 lakh acres above the irrigated cropped area as on April 1, 1960. Under the treaty, the waters of the eastern rivers have been allocated to India and New Delhi is under obligation to let the waters of the western rivers flow, except for certain consumptive use, with Pakistan getting 80% of the water. According to the United Nations, the 1960 Indus Waters Treaty has survived three wars and is a source of cooperation, not just conflict. ‘Pakistan should be declared terrorist state and all types of move should be performed to combat the situation,’ he added. With agency inputs

Cauvery issue: Karnataka’s stand does not amount to contempt of SC, says BV Acharya

Karnataka is defying the Supreme Court’s order by not releasing the required 3,000 cusecs of water from the Cauvery to Tamil Nadu. It has, in a sense, already begun that process after the all-party meeting, boycotted by the BJP, by deferring release of the water from 21 September. Why is Karnataka initiating a confrontation between the legislature and the judiciary? Firstpost asked BV Acharya, senior advocate, as to what are the issues relating to the Supreme Court order that has led to a situation fast deteriorating into a crisis.

Acharya was also the special public prosecutor in the Supreme Court appointed trial of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa Jayaram in the disproportionate assets case. He speaks to Imran Qureshi in his capacity as a senior advocate, former advocate general and a former member of the Law Commission of India.

Representational image. CNN-News18Representational image. CNN-News18

Representational image. CNN-News18

A number of questions have been raised about the latest verdict of the Supreme Court in Karnataka. What, in your opinion, are the inconsistencies in the order?

First and foremost when the application of the Tamil Nadu government is for the release of water for the present, the Supreme Court went on passing orders on 5, 12 and 19 September. The most damaging part of the latest order that it is illegal, unwarranted and uncalled for, is the direction that the Centre shall appoint the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) within four weeks from today and then saying produce gazette copy of the notification and thereafter we will go on giving directions. This part of the order by the two-judge bench is without jurisdiction.

In the first place, there was no application from anybody nor was there any argument advanced by anyone with regard to the CMB. Suddenly, the order is passed totally ignoring the fact that Tamil Nadu had last year filed an interlocutory application (IA-7) praying for the Central government to constitute the CMB with a three-judge bench presided over by Justice RM Lodha. The bench had directed that this IA shall also be heard along with the main SLP (special leave petition) which is now posted for hearing on 18 October. When this is the position, a two-judge bench has no right to overrule a three-judge bench or to ignore it.

Therefore, this sort of an order without anybody asking for it, without anyone advancing an argument for it or without giving Karnataka an opportunity to point out that it cannot be done because there is an earlier decision of the court, baffles anybody as to why the two-judge bench should go to that extent.

Just as a clarification, this bench which is going to hear the main SLPs is a three-judge bench?

Certainly. There is a specific direction that the main SLPs shall be heard by a three-judge bench. So, how a two-judge bench can arrogate to itself the power that a three-judge bench alone has without anyone even asking for it is a surprise. Therefore, to do justice the bench should recall its order.

I believe that Karnataka should immediately file an IA before the two-judge bench requesting it to recall its order because it was passed without anyone asking for it and passed without knowledge that such an order existed. Certainly, they were unaware of it or they wouldn’t have passed it.

What are the options before the aggrieved party when the court passes orders which cannot be implemented as Karnataka is pleading, particularly when the technical panel or the supervisory committee had said that only 3,000 cusecs of water need to be released?

Let me, first, briefly explain the irregularities in the entire procedure. When Tamil Nadu filed its application for release of water, the first objection Karnataka government had raised was that for the very purpose of resolving such disputes, the Supreme Court had constituted the supervisory committee in 2013. The judges, rightly so, directed Tamil Nadu to go before the supervisory committee within three days. It’s an expert committee which has all the data and representatives of all the (riparian) states, including the Centre. Once having asked Tamil Nadu to go before the committee, it is highly improper on the part of the Supreme Court to give an interim order to Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water without having any basis and merely on the basis of arguments. Karnataka sought modification of the order as legally permissible but as if they were favouring the state, they reduced 15,000 cusecs to 12,000 cusecs but extended the number of days the water should be released.

The result is that for having approached the Supreme Court, Karnataka got a worse order. The second and third mistake they have done is that when the supervisory committee considered everything and stated in its order that 3,000 cusecs should be reduced, the court said release 6,000 cusecs. In the entire order, there is not even a sentence as to why they are increasing the quantum from 3,000 cusecs to 6,000 cusecs. It is also conceded by both sides that Tamil Nadu has a storage of 50 TMC feet of water at Mettur for irrigation. This water is not for immediate release. Whereas in the case of Karnataka, it has 22 or 26 TMC feet of water preserved for drinking water needs of the state that too for a short time. When this is the situation, this order is highly inequitable. It is accepted that drinking water is the most important thing. Supposing I have collected one bucket of water for drinking water purposes for the next one week. Can you say that your neighbour needs water for his coconut tree, so give it? Is it equitable?

In the wake of the decision of Karnataka to defer release of water, do you think the state is committing contempt of the apex court?

No. For various reasons, it does not amount to contempt. In the first place, the Supreme Court had no jurisdiction at all under Article 262 to pass such orders in relation to a water dispute. Secondly, when the Supreme Court directed the supervisory committee to deal with the situation and also directed Tamil Nadu to go there. It is a void order. It cannot say water collected for drinking water purposes be supplied to fulfill irrigation needs of the neighbouring state. It is a void order without jurisdiction. Apart from all that, it’s an order almost incapable of implementation in a sense that the state government cannot say that it does not matter if our people die for want of drinking water but we will supply water to the next state for irrigation. It will not amount to willful disobedience or an order and therefore it will not be contempt.

The latest move to seek the seal of approval from the Karnataka legislature is bound to lead to a confrontation. What is your opinion on this aspect?

Supposing a resolution is passed not to release water, there will be a clear conflict between the legislature and the judiciary. The resolution will put the state government in a fix because both are constitutional bodies which have given contradictory instructions. Whoever it follows, it will be disobeying one of them. Therefore, the state government can keep quiet and say I will not be able to decide, so I have not committed contempt. Yes, it does lead to confrontation.

What is the choice the state government when it is asked to implement an order that is void or unimplementable?

In the high court, it is possible to appeal to a division bench or even go to the Supreme Court. But, in the Supreme Court, there is no such provision. From a two-judge to a three-judge bench it all depends on the reference and the prerogative of the Chief Justice of India. I can only request this bench to refer it to a three-judge bench and they can refuse. They have that right.

Judiciary vs legislature? Karnataka’s Cauvery resolution sets bad precedent, says former Supreme Court judge

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Former Supreme Court judge AK Ganguly, who delivered a judgement in the 2G spectrum scam case, on Saturday said the Karnataka state assembly’s adoption of a unanimous resolution against a Supreme Court order on the sharing of Cauvery waters with Tamil Nadu violates the basic tenets of Indian Constitution. He warned that the act of not listening to the judiciary creates a bad precedent in the country.”Since the Karnataka Government was party to this judgement, they are bound to follow this order in view of the provision of Article 144 of the Constitution which mandates that all authorities, civil, judicial in the territory of India must act in aid of the Supreme Court order,” he said.”Therefore, the Karnataka government cannot take a decision by sitting over the order of the Supreme Court and they cannot review the order. If they do so, they are violating the basic tenets of the rule of law, that the executive is not listening to the order of the highest court, and this is creating a very bad precedent,” he added.The Karnataka state assembly on Friday adopted a unanimous resolution to release Cauvery water to meet the requirements of Bengaluru and for towns and villages that form the Cauvery Basin. The resolution was moved by Opposition BJP leader Jagadish Shettar and by YSV Datta of the Janata Dal-Secular.The resolution noted that in the year 2016-17, there has been an acute situation of distress, but the shortfall of water in the basin will become known only at the end of the season i.e. January 31, 2017. It pointed out that the combined storage in four reservoirs in the Cauvery Basin — Krishnaraja Sagar, Hemavathy, Harangi and Kabini — had reached “alarmingly low levels at 27 TMC ft.””The resolution is passed after carefully considering the needs of the inhabitants of the state of Karnataka whose interests are likely to be jeopardised. The water in the core reservoirs is any way reduced other than meeting the drinking water requirements of inhabitants in the Cauvery Basin, including the entire city of Bengaluru,” former chief minister and BJP legislator Shettar said.The Cauvery Supervisory Committee had on September 19 asked Karnataka to release 3,000 cusecs per day from September 21 to 30, but the apex court had on September 20 doubled the quantum to 6,000 cusecs from September 21 to 27 after Tamil Nadu pressed for water to save its samba paddy crop. It had also directed the Centre to constitute within four weeks the Cauvery Water Management Board as directed by Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in its award.

Cauvery row: Karnataka Assembly passes resolution to block water to Tamil Nadu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A rare display of unity among the political rivals unfolded in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly on Friday when it passed a unanimous resolution during a special session directing the state government to release the water only for drinking purposes to Bengaluru and regions surrounding Cauvery basin.The resolution puts Karnataka in confrontation with the Supreme Court verdict asking it to release 6,000 cusecs of water every day to Tamil Nadu till September, 27, which according to legal experts may signal a constitutional crisis in the state.”It is now resolved to direct that in this state of acute distress it is imperative that the government ensures that no water from the present storages be drawn, save and except for meeting the drinking water requirements of the villages and towns surrounding Cauvery basin and for the entire city of Bruhat Bangalore,” the resolution passed in the Assembly said.The resolution was backed by the opposition parties such as BJP and JD(S).Chief minister Siddaramaiah who has been trying to garner the support from different quarters said that the resolution should not be considered as defiance of the Supreme Court order. He said that Karnataka is giving the first priority to drinking water and that the farmers of the state have already been hit hard by consecutive drought years.”Our farmers have made great sacrifices. We have asked them to sow crops which do not require much water for irrigation,” the chief minister told the Assembly.He said that there is just 27.6 TMC ft (thousand million cubic) of water in the four water reservoirs and that the state needs 24 TMC ft of water till May, 2017 for meeting the drinking water requirements.Siddaramaiah while taking a subtle dig at the Tamil Nadu’s demand of more water said that the neighbouring state has more water in its reservoirs and has sufficient ground water.”They need water for crops whereas we need water for drinking,” he added.Although the State BJP and JD(S) have backed the Siddaramaiah government over Cauvery row, the Centre is yet to intervene in the issue even as the Karnataka CM met verdict met Union Water Resources Minister, Umar Bharti on Thursday.A legal expert told the dna that the worst times are not yet over for Karnataka as upsetting the apex court may lead the SC asking either centre or Cauvery Water Management Board to take control of the Cauvery river reservoirs and monitor the flow of water to two states.Even as the state BJP unit led by former chief minister B.S Yedyuruppa earlier chose to skip an all-party meet called by the chief minister, the BJP leaders together strongly stood their ground and told the Assembly that the water shouldn’t be released to Tamil Nadu.Senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister, E S Eshwarappa said that Karnataka has faced losses worth Rs 40,000 crore due to water release to Tamil Nadu. He added that the water is needed in the state for drinking unlike Tamil Nadu which requires water for crops.The leader of opposition and former chief minister Jagadish Shettar, who earlier moved the resolution, told the Assembly that the state is in acute distress and that the combined capacity of four water reservoirs is less. He said the resolution should be unanimously passed in collective interests of the people of Karnataka.Karnataka Assembly had previously held five Special sessions on Cauvery water dispute with Tamil Nadu. In 2002, the then chief minister SM Krishna while earlier refusing to comply with the SC order of releasing water to Tamil Nadu had to abide by the apex court ruling for potentially facing the charge of contempt of court.

The villages at the heart of India’s water dispute

The majority of villages on India’s Cauvery river in Karnataka state are seeing a drought-like situation, triggering the war over water sharing with neighbouring Tamil Nadu, reports Prabhu Mallikarjunan.

Govt releases Rs 315 cr for building toilets along Ganga

Fri, 23 Sep 2016-03:28pm , New Delhi , PTI
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Union Water Resources Ministry has released Rs 315 crore for construction of toilets along Ganga river.The Ministry released the money to Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation for building toilets as per an action plan under Swachh Bharat campaign (Gramin) during 2016-17. The Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Ministry had released Rs 263 crore for the purpose during the previous fiscal, an official statement said.”So far, 14,500 toilets have been constructed under this scheme,” the statement reads.

Cauvery issue: Karnataka passes resolution to release water to Bengaluru, no mention of Tamil Nadu

The Karnataka legislature in the special session of both the Houses on Friday passed a resolution to only release water for the purpose of meeting basic concerns of Bengaluru and Cauvery basin.

India Today reported that the resolution has no mention of Tamil Nadu. Government and the opposition were united in the resolution and it was passed unanimously.

The council also unanimously decided to not release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, saying the water was needed for drinking purposes in the state, IANS reported.

However, CNN-News18 reported that the Opposition tabled a resolution against the Supreme Court’s order asking Karnataka to release more water to Tamil Nadu. It also reported that BJP will fully support Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

Former Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa also said that the Congress and BJP will back the resolution, according to News18.

Ahead of the session, Siddaramaiah met Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti in Delhi on Thursday, a day after the cabinet decided to defer the release of water and convene the legislature session amid escalating row between the two neighbouring states.

“It is difficult for us to release water, already as per the Supreme Court order we have released 12,000 cusecs for 14 days. There is no water in our reservoirs. What is remaining in four reservoirs is only 26 TMC water, whereas we need 27 TMC to supply drinking water to Mandya, Mysuru, Bengaluru and nearby areas,” he told reporters in Delhi after meeting Bharti.

The Cauvery Supervisory Committee had on 19 September asked Karnataka to release 3,000 cusecs per day from 21 to 30 September, but the Apex Court had on 20 September doubled the quantum to 6,000 cusecs from 21 to 27 September after Tamil Nadu pressed for water to save its samba paddy crop.

With inputs from PTI and IANS.

Cauvery dispute: Karnataka passes resolution to block release of water to Tamil Nadu

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Karnataka’s Legislative Council passed a resolution to only release water for the purpose of meeting basic concerns of Bengaluru and Cauvery basin on Friday. In a move that may set the state on a collision course with the judiciary, a special session of both Houses of Karnataka legislature was held to take a call on the Supreme Court’s direction to the state to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu.Amid raging row over sharing of Cauvery water, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Thursday met Union minister Uma Bharti and explained to her his state’s “difficulty” in releasing the quantum of water to Tamil Nadu as per Supreme Court order, which he termed as “unfair”.The Cauvery Supervisory Committee had on September 19 asked Karnataka to release 3,000 cusecs per day from September 21 to 30, but the Apex Court had on September 20 doubled the quantum to 6,000 cusecs from September 21 to 27 after Tamil Nadu pressed for water to save its samba paddy crop.It had also directed the Centre to constitute within four weeks the Cauvery Water Management Board as directed by Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in its award.In Tamil Nadu, Opposition party DMK on Thursday urged the state government to follow suit and discuss the next course of action over the water sharing.

Hyper-nationalist responses to Pakistan are embarrassing; let Modi chalk out a strategy

India’s biggest enemies are the hyper-nationalists who roll out a new threat to our enemies everyday without considering its practicability or efficacy.

Their sheikhchilli-esque boasts and bluster, born out of ‘Main ye kar doonga, Main woh kar doonga’ syndrome, without follow-up action often turns embarrassing, signalling to our enemies that India is often all talk and no action.

So, it would indeed be a great service to India if the ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ brigade goes back to its cow vigilantism and Arvind Kejriwal or Kanhaiya Kumar bashing. For India’s benefit, our armchair warlords should leave the job of defending our country and dealing with Pakistan to the Prime Minister and his team of experts.

For, many of their ideas are based on the notion that dealing with a nuclear-powered enemy with reasonable amount of arms parity is as easy as moving the joystick of a play station or moving pieces on a chessboard.

Consider, for instance, the suggestion that India should unilaterally abrogate the Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan. An agreement for sharing of water flowing in the three eastern rivers — Beas, Ravi and Sutlej — and the three western rivers — Indus, Chenab and Jhelum — was signed between the two countries way back in 1960.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

Since then, the two countries have fought two full-scale wars, grappled over Kargil, mobilised their forces on the border at least thrice — 1987, 1990 and 2001-02 — and have returned from the precipice several times. Yet, not even once has India thought of annulling the treaty.

The reason is simple. (No, it is not because Jawaharlal Nehru ordained it). The idea is simply unviable and can establish a precedent that will give unprecedented leverage to every upper riparian (where a river originates) country.

As The Indian Express argues in this report, blocking the three western rivers that flow uninterrupted into Pakistan may actually lead to flooding of several Indian cities in north India. Experts quoted by the newspaper argue that impeding the flow of water could actually turn counter-productive for India.

Once India decides to exercise its upper riparian rights, it would expose itself to similar action in future by China. Just like the eastern and western rivers that flow into Pakistan from India, the Brahmaputra that feeds large swathes of India and Bangladesh originates in China. India and China already have major differences over the former’s intentions to dam the flow of Yarlung Zangbo (Brahmaputra or Tsangpo). Once India sets the precedent of unilateral action by an upper riparian state, what would stop China from emulating our philosophy in the future?

Obviously, blocking Indus water is a hare-brained idea. It could lead to both short-term flooding and long-term China consequences. And this is precisely why the treaty has survived more than five decades of hostilities and wars between India and Pakistan under governments of different hues and ideologies.

Hawks have also been demanding India to do a Myanmar on Pakistan, implying that our soldiers cross the LoC and hunt down militants holed up across Muzzafarabad. On paper, it sounds logical that if India can make punitive raids across the eastern border, the idea could be emulated in the north-west theatre too. But, proponents of this doctrine ignore the fact that Indian soldiers carry out incursions into Myanmar with the tacit support of its government. When Indian forces chase terrorists in Myanmar, its army doesn’t offer resistance or put up blockades, either by design or because of lack of competence. But, similar raids across LoC, unless conducted with so much stealth that Pakistan won’t even get to know of them, would definitely be resisted by Pakistani rangers and their defensive formations, making it a high-risk manoeuvre.

Unfortunately, those baying for quick punitive action against Pakistan ignore the basic objective of a diplomatic or military manoeuvre: It is executed with the specific purpose of bringing the enemy down to its knees and accepting the conditions imposed by the victor, which, in India’s case is to stop Pakistan from sponsoring cross-border terrorism and interfering in Kashmir. India can achieve these objectives only by inflicting heavy costs on Pakistan without suffering equivalent damage, which is a realistic possibility because of the nuclear overhang and risks of escalation.

Pakistan is a rogue state overcome with deathwish because of its territorial ambitions, jihadist mindset and incurable jealousy of the neighbour’s progress. It is boiling in its own stew of hatred, violence, fundamentalism and envy. Every decade since it came into existence, Pakistan has slipped further down the path of economic and political instability, foolishly pushing itself into a corner. Every time it strikes India through its jihadist infrastructure, Pakistan loses more credibility in the international fora and moves some more distance away from traditional benefactors like the US.

As columnist Pervez Hoodbhoy pointed out in a 2015 article for The Dawn, even nukes may not be able to save it. “Nukes may win a battle for us but at the cost of losing Pakistan. Instead our security lies in ensuring that Pakistan’s territory is not used for launching terror attacks upon our neighbours. We must explicitly renounce the use of covert war to liberate Kashmir — a fact hidden from none and recently admitted to by Gen Musharraf.”

To bring Pakistan down to its knees, India needs to help the process of the enemy’s slow demise. For this, Modi needs to be left alone to work out a cold, calculated strategy that involves both covert and overt interventions and diplomacy.

Forcing him to act under pressure from the impatient ‘Jai Hind’ brigade and their ideas could lead to a miscalculation that could bring India at par with Pakistan, a dream our enemies cherish.

Cauvery water row: Special session of Karnataka Assembly to decide on SC’s order today

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A special session of both Houses of the Karnataka legislature will be held on Friday to take a call on the Supreme Court’s direction to the state to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu.Ahead of the session, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah met Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti in Delhi on Thursday, a day after the state cabinet decided to defer the release of the waters and convene a legislature session amid an escalating row between the two states.Apprising Bharti of the ground realities and its inability to implement the apex court order, Siddaramaiah requested the Centre to file an objection against the court’s direction to constitute a Cauvery Water Management Board.”It is difficult for us to release water, already as per the Supreme Court order, we have released 12,000 cusecs for 14 days. There is no water in our reservoirs. What is remaining in four reservoirs is only 26 TMC water, whereas we need 27 TMC to supply drinking water to Mandya, Mysuru, Bengaluru and nearby areas,” he told reporters in Delhi after meeting Bharti.Pointing out that Tamil Nadu is seeking water for irrigation and the Mettur reservoir there has a storage of 52 TMC water, Siddaramaiah said he has explained all this to the minister.Noting that the apex court had also asked the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Management Board, he said, “It was uncalled for, neither us nor they (Tamil Nadu) had made a prayer for it. I have requested that the solicitor general or the additional solicitor general who represents the Government of India files an objection against it on September 27.”The Cauvery Supervisory Committee had on September 19 asked Karnataka to release 3,000 cusecs per day from September 21 to 30, but the apex court had on September 20, doubled the quantum to 6,000 cusecs from September 21 to 27 after Tamil Nadu pressed for water to save its samba paddy crop. It had also directed the Centre to constitute within four weeks the Cauvery Water Management Board as directed by Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in its award.

In Indus water treaty, India finds a powerful option against Pakistan

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as India raised the ante further, signaling threat to abrogate the Indus Water Treaty (IWT), the two main political formations – the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress – came out all guns blazing against Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), questioning the neighbouring country’s “complete denial” of the terror emanating from its soil. At the United Nations as well, Afghanistan joined India to squeeze Islamabad, with its vice-president Sarwar Danesh blaming the country for training, equipping and financing of terror groups like Taliban and Haqqani network.Under the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) – brokered by the World Bank and signed in Karachi on September 19, 1960 by Nehru and Pakistan president Ayub Khan – six north Indian rivers were divided between the two countries.Despite being a lower riparian state, Pakistan has been granted exclusive rights of three Kashmir rivers, Indus, Jhelum and Chinab, in lieu of India controlling three eastern rivers, Beas, Ravi and Sutlej, all flowing from Punjab.These rivers irrigate Pakistan’s food bowl in East Punjab and Sindh provinces. The treaty, which braved two full-fledged wars of 1965 and 1971 and a limited Kargil war of 1999, has come under cloud with External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup putting a question mark over its continuity. “There are differences over the treaty. For any such treaty to work, it is important that there must be mutual trust and cooperation. It can’t be a one-sided affair,” he said. Over the years, many analysts have been recommending review of this treaty in view of Pakistan’s hostility towards India and more so because these three rivers are lifeline for southern Punjab regions, nursery of terror groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM).”If Pakistan wishes to preserve the Indus treaty, despite its diminishing returns for India, it will have to strike a balance between its right to keep utilising the bulk of the river system’s waters and a corresponding obligation (enshrined in international law) not to cause palpable harm to its co-riparian state by exporting terror,” said noted analyst Brahma Chellaney. But another group of experts believe that International Tribunal will soon intervene to restore this treaty and also there is no way to lock or use water of these three rivers in Kashmir and they cannot be linked to any other river with mighty Pir Panchal mountains insulating them from rest of the country.India also on Thursday expressed diplomatic victory in noting that Pakistan Prime Minister got no support from the international community in his address to the UN General Assembly (UNGA) previous night as none of the 50 countries that spoke referred to the issues on which he had devoted 80% of his speech. Swarup said the UN Secretary General even did not mention a dossier reportedly handed over to him by Nawaz and instead made it clear that he would not intervene in the Kashmir issue that he wants resolved bilaterally.SAARC SUMMIT: Swarup also kept up the suspense on whether Prime Minister Narendra Modi will boycott the 19th SAARC summit to be held on November 9 and 10 at Islamabad and Murree. “Every question does not have yes or no answer,” he quipped.On India itself declaring Pakistan a “terror state”, Swarup said it requires internal legislative processes. He also rejected the idea of India breaking diplomatic ties with Pakistan. He referred to the demarche issued on Wednesday by the foreign secretary to Pakistan High Commissioner and said no such diplomatic protest could be issued if there are no diplomatic relations.Meanwhile, both BJP and Congress warned Pakistan for meddling in India’s internal affairs by raking up the Kashmir issue. Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi attacked Sharif for attacking terrorism with a self-denial of the terror unleashed by his country. “Pakistan doesn’t realise that when they speak like this they are making a joke out of themselves,” he said, asserting that Pakistan is the biggest exporter of terrorism in the world.

Cauvery row: Opposition DMK urges Tamil Nadu Assembly to discuss the issue

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>With a special session of the Karnataka legislature scheduled for Friday to discuss the Cauvery issue, Tamil Nadu Opposition DMK urged on Thursday to the state government to follow suit to discuss the next course of action over the water sharing. “In Karnataka, the Assembly session has been convened hurriedly on September 23. At the same time, should not the legislature in Tamil Nadu also be convened,” DMK President M Karunanidhi said in a statement.He said such a session could be useful to chalk out the next course of action and the strategy even as Karnataka has deferred water release. On September 20, the apex court had directed Karnataka to release 6000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu till September 27, besides asking Centre to constitute the Cauvery Management Board.On Wednesday, the Karnataka government decided to defer the release of the 6,000 cusecs of water till Friday, when the special session of the state legislature discusses the Supreme Court’s direction. Karunanidhi said that following the ruling, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramiah convened a cabinet meeting and an all-party meeting but no such meetings were being held in Tamil Nadu.
ALSO READ Cauvery water row: 6,000 cusecs of water will not be sufficient for Tamil Nadu, says DMK Farmers in the state were not satisfied with the 6000 cusecs share of water as directed by Supreme Court, he said and asked why Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has not spelled out the government’s stand on the quantum of water allowed by the apex court.

Cauvery water row: 6,000 cusecs of water will not be sufficient for Tamil Nadu, says DMK

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) spokesperson Saravanan on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision, where it has asked the Centre to constitute a Cauvery Management Board (CMB) within four weeks, and said that as per the new order, 6,000 cusecs of water to be released from Karnataka will not be sufficient for Tamil Nadu.Saravanan said that the Central Government should intervene and constitute the Cauvery management board, so that there won’t be any loss of life or property in future.”Even though the Supreme Court has ordered 6,000 cusecs of water has to be released from Karnataka, I don’t think that will be sufficient for the state of Tamil Nadu. But the significant aspect is that the Supreme Court has directed the Central government to constitute Cauvery management board with four weeks, I think that is a very welcomed decision,” Saravanan said.”It shows, if the Tamil Nadu government has pointed out our leader MK Stalin, if the Tamil Nadu government have acted in expeditious manner, I think Cauvery management board would have come into existence long time back. But anyway, better late than never. We welcome this decision of constituting this Cauvery management board,” he added.Stating that it is the internal politics between Karnataka, Congress and BJP over the Cauvery issue, Saravanan said, “I think, they should oblige by the Supreme Court’s verdict and the Central Government should intervene and constitute the Cauvery management board, so that there won’t be any loss of life or loss of property like what we have seen in Bengaluru.”Saravanan further said that that peculiar politics is being play upon in Karnataka, where the Congress in Tamil Nadu is supporting the Cauvery dispute, Congress in TN is supporting the issue but BJP didn’t support the bandh which is called by all the parties.The apex court on Tuesday directed the Karnataka government to release 6000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu from tomorrow till September 27, the next date of hearing. The Supreme Court also directed the Centre to constitute a Cauvery management board within four weeks and notify the same.The ruling came a day after the Cauvery Supervisory Committee ordered Karnataka to release 3,000 cusecs of water from the river to Tamil Nadu daily between September 21 and 30.The Supreme Court also allowed both states, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to file their objections to Cauvery supervisory committee report within three days.Union Water Resources Secretary and Chairman of the committee Shashi Shekhar asked Karnataka to release 3,000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu from September 21 to 30.As per Supreme Court orders, Karnataka has to release 12000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. More than 5000 cusecs of water will be released from Mettur Dam for delta irrigation and this will be raised up to 15,000 cusecs as per the need of delta farmers. The water released from Mettur will first reach Upper Anaicatu Mukombu in Tiruchirapalli and from there to Grand Anaicutu Kallanai by weekend. From Kallanai, water will be released for samba crops in delta districts of Thanjavur, Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur.This year release of water from Mettur has been considerably delayed due to shortage of water in Cauvery.Delta farmers hope that north east monsoon will start by third week of next month to save samba crops.

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