New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday expressed its displeasure over the failure of the PMO (prime minister’s office) to hold a meeting for the resolution of the Cauvery water-sharing dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
An apex court bench of Justice D.K Jain and Justice Madan B. Lokur, while adjourning the matter for Friday, asked whether it should fix the date for the meeting of the committee headed by the prime minister.
Mocking at the PMO writing letters to the members of the committee, seeking their convenience before fixing the date of the meeting, the court said it is surprising that PMO is asking for the convenience of everybody before fixing the meeting.
Is the prime minister to see his own convenience or see the convenience of others, the court observed, adding that “sometimes we are short of words when it involves the highest functionary of the government”.
The court had earlier adjourned the hearing asking the government to convene the meeting of the committee to resolve the dispute.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa in May had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, requesting him to convene a meeting of the Cauvery River Authority.
The sharing of waters of Cauvery river has been the source of a serious conflict between the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The genesis of this conflict rests in two controversial agreements – one signed in 1892 and another in 1924 – between the erstwhile Madras Presidency and princely State of Mysore.
Karnataka claims that these agreements were skewed heavily in favour of the Madras Presidency, and has demanded a settlement based on “equitable sharing of the waters”.
Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, pleads that it has already developed almost 3,000,000 acres (12,000 km) of land and as a result has come to depend very heavily on the existing pattern of usage. Any change in this pattern, it says, will adversely affect the livelihood of millions of farmers in the state.