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Pennaiyar River Dispute

As the three-month deadline set by the Supreme Court for setting up an Inter

Context: Pennaiyar River Dispute As the three-month deadline set by the Supreme Court for setting up an Inter-State River Water Disputes Tribunal for the Pennaiyar river has expired, Tamil Nadu is awaiting further action from the Centre.

An overview of the news

  • The Supreme Court in December directed the Center to set up a Pennaiyar River Water Disputes Tribunal within three months to resolve the dispute over sharing of water between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
  • In 2018, Tamil Nadu filed a lawsuit against Karnataka for building check-dams and diversion structures on the river.
  • On November 30, 2019, Tamil Nadu formally requested the central government to set up a tribunal to settle disputes over the waters of the river.
  • In mid-December 2022, the Supreme Court gave the Center three months to set up a tribunal to resolve the dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Interstate River Water Dispute

  • Interstate river water disputes are currently one of the most contentious issues in Indian federalism.
  • The Cauvery water dispute and Sutlej-Yamuna link canal cases are some examples.
  • Various Inter-State Water Disputes Tribunals have been constituted so far.
  • According to Article 131 of the Constitution, the Supreme Court, in its original jurisdiction, decides a dispute between the Government of India and one or more States or between the Government of India and any State or States or between two or more States on river water disputes.

About Pennaiyar River                             

  • It originates in the Nandi Hills in Chikkaballapura district of Karnataka and flows through Tamil Nadu before emptying into the Bay of Bengal.
  • The major tributaries are Chinnar, Markanda, Vaniyar and Pamban.
  • It is the second longest river in Tamil Nadu after Cauvery with a length of 497 km.
  • It is the second largest interstate east-flowing river basin among the 12 basins located between the Pennar and Cauvery basins.
  • It covers a large area in the state of Tamil Nadu apart from areas included in the states of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
  • Important cities on the banks of Pennaiyar River – Bangalore, Hosur, Tiruvannamalai and Cuddalore South.

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