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From The Archives: Important Points Of Agreement On Cauvery Dispute Between Tamil Nadu-Mysore 
Snapshot

The Cauvery dispute is back in the news, and for all the wrong reasons. Below, we reproduce a piece published in the July 17, 1971 edition of Swarajya which listed out the important points of agreement between the erstwhile governments of Mysore and Tamil Nadu

To enable the readers to understand and follow the points of view expressed by the Mysore and the Tamil Nad Governments in regard to the Cauvery waters, we give below the important points of the agreements of 1892 and 1924 between the two States.

The following are the salient points of the 1892 Agreement:

(CI. II) The Mysore Government shall not, without the previous consent of the Madras Government, or before a decision under, rule IV build (a) any “New Irrigation Reservoirs”, across any part of the fifteen main rivers (named, in Schedule A), or across any stream,’ or in any drainage area or (b) any “new anicut” across the streams of Schedule A, Nos. 4 to 9 and 14 and 15, or across any of the streams or across the following streams of Schedule A, lower than the, points specified hereunder:

Across the Tungabhadra - Iower than the road crossing at Honhalli; across the Cauvery - lower than the Ramaswami anicut; and across the Kabani - lower than the Rampur anicut.

(III) Where the Mysore Government desires to construct any “New Irrigation Reservoir” or any anicut requiring the previous consent of the Madras (Tamil Nadu) Government under the last preceding rule, then full information regarding the proposed work shall be forwarded to the Madras Government and the consent of that Government shall be obtained previous to the actual commencement of work. The Madras Government shall be bound not to refuse such consent except for the protection of prescriptive right already acquired and actually existing, the existence, extent and nature- of such right and the mode of exercisIng It being in every case determined in accordance with the law on the subject of prescriptive right to the use of water and in accordance with what is fair and reasonable under all the circumstances of each individual case.

Should there arise a difference of opinion between the Madras and the Mysore Governments in any case in which the consent of the former is applied for the same shall be referred to the final decision either of arbitrators appointed by both Governments, or of the Government of India.

Schedule A: Main rivers - The Tungabhadra, the Tunga, the Bhadra, the Hagari ot Vegavati, the Pennar or Northern Pinakini, the Chitravati, the Pagaghni, the Palar, the Ponnia” or Southern Pinakini, the Cauvery, the Hemavathi, the Lakshmanthirtha, the Kabani, the Yagachi up to Suvarnavati and the Belur bridge.

Salient points from the final agmement between the Mysore and the Madras Governments in regard to the construction of a dam and reservoir at Krishnarajasagara - 18th February, 1924:

(1) The Mysore Government shall be entitled to construct and the Madras Government hereby assents under clause III of 1892 agreement to the Mysore Government constructing a dam and a reservoir across and on the river Cauvery at Kannambadi, now known as, Krishnarajasagara, such dam and reservoir to be of a storage capacity of not higher than 112 feet above the sill of the under-sluices now in existence corresponding to 124 feet above the bed of the river before construction of the dam, and to be of the effective capacity of 44,827 m.c. feet, measured from the sill of the irrigation sluices constructed to 60 feet level above the bed of the river up to the maximum height of the 124 feet above the bed of the river; the level of the bed of the river before the construction of the reservoir being taken as 12 feet below the sill level of the existing under-sluices.

2) The Mysore Government, on its part, hereby agrees to regulate the discharge through and from the said reservoir strictly in accordance with Rules of Regulation, which Rules of Regulation shall be and form part of the agreement.

(3) The Mysore Government hereby agrees to furnish to the Madras Government within two years from the date of the present agreement dimensioned plans of anicuts and sluices or open heads of the off-takes of all existing irrigation channels having their source in the rIvers Cauvery, the Lakshmanathirtha and the lIemavathi, showing thereon in a distinctive colour all alterations that have been made subsequent to the year 1910, and further to furnish maps similarly showing the location of the areas irrigated by the said channels prior to or in the year 1910.

(4) The Mysore Government, on its part, shall be at liberty to carry out future extensions of irrigation in Mysore under the Cauvery and its tributaries to an extent now fixed at 1,10,000 acres. This extent of new irrigation of 1,10,000 acres shall be in addition to and irrespective of the extent of irrigation permissible under the Rules of Regulation under this agreement, viz, 1,25,000 acres plus the extension permissible under each of the existing channels to the extent of one-third of the area actually irrigated under each channel in or prior to 1910.

(5) The Madras Government, on its part, agrees to, limit the new area of irrigation under the Cauvery-Mettur Project to 3,01,000 acres, and the capacity of the new, reservoir at Mettur, above the lowest irrigation sluice to 9,3,500 million cubic feet: Provided that, should scouring sluices be constructed in the dam at a lower level than the irrigation sluice, the dates on which such scouring sluices are opened shall be communicated to the Mysore Government.

(6) The Mysore Government and the Madras Governments agree with reference to the provisions of clauses (4) and (5) preceding that each Government shall arrange to supply the other as soon after the close of each official or calendar year, as may be convenient, with returns of the areas newly brought under irrigation and with the average monthly discharges at the main canal basis, as soon after the close of each month or as may be convenient.

(7) The Mysore Government, on its part, agrees that extension of irrigation in Mysore as specified in clause (iv) above shall be carried out only by means of reservoirs constructed on the Cauvery and its tributaries mentioned in Schedule A of the 1892 agreement. Such reservoirs may be of an effective capacity of 45, 000 m.c. feet in the aggregate and the compounding therein shall be so regulated as not to make any material diminution in supplies connoted by the gauges accepted in the Rules of Regulation, for the Krishnarajasagar, it being understood that the rules for working such reservoirs shall be so framed as to reduce to within 5 percent any loss during any impounding period by the adoption of suitable proportion factors, impounding formula or such other means as may be settled at the time.

(8) The Mysore Government further agrees that full particulars and details of such reservoir schemes and of the impounding therein shall be furnished to the Madras Government to enable it to satisfy itself that the condition in clause (7) above will be fulfilled.

Should there arise any difference of opinion between the Madras and the Mysore Governments whether the said conditions are fulfilled in regard to any such scheme or schemes, both the Madras and the Mysore Governments agree that such difference shall be settled in the manner provided in clause (15) below.

9) The Mysore and the Madras governments agree that the reserve storage for power generation purposes now provided in the Krishnarajasagar may be utilized by the Mysore Government according to its convenience from any other reservoir hereafter, to be constructed, and the storage thus released from the Krlshnarajasagar may be utilized for new irrigation within the extent of 1,10,OOO acres provided for in clause (4) above.

(10) Should the Mysore Government so decide to release the reservoir storage for power generation purposes from the Krishnarajasagar, the working tables for the new reservoir from which the power will then be utilised shall be framed after taking into consideration the conditions specified in clause (7) and the altered condition of irrigation under the Krislmarajasagar.

(11) The Mysore Government and the Madras Government further agree that the Iimitations and arrangements embodied in clauses (4) to (8) supra shall, at the expiry of 50 years from the date of the execution of these presents, be open to reconsideration in the light of the experience gained and of an examination of the possibilities of the further extension of irrigation within the territories of the respective Governments and to such modifications and additions as may be mutually agreed upon as the result of such consideration.

(14) The Madras (Tamil Nadu) Governments shall be at liberty to construct new irrigation works on the tributaries of the Cauvery in Tamil Nad and should the Government construct, on the Bhavani, the Amaravati or the Noyil rivers in the state, any new storage reservoir, the Mysore Government shall be at liberty to construct as an offset, a storage reservoir, in addition to those referred to in clause (7) of this agreement on one of the tributaries of the Cauvery in Mysore of a capacity not exceeding 60 per cent of the new reservoir in Tamil Nadu: Provided that the impounding in such reservoirs shall not diminish or affect in any way the supplies to which the Madras Government and the Mysore Government respectively are entitled under this agreement, or the division of surplus water which, it is anticipated, will be available for division on the termination of this agreement as provided for in clause (11).

(15) The Madras Government and the Mysore Government hereby agree that, if at any time there should arise any dispute between the Madras Government and the Mysore Government touching, the interpretation or operation or carrying out of this agreement, such dispute shall be referred for settlement to arbitration, or if the parties so agree shall be submitted to the Government of India.