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Last Updated: Monday, 5 May, 2003, 13:51 GMT 14:51 UK
Indian state rejects water offer
Sampath Kumar
BBC correspondent in Madras

Cauvery river
There have been over 25 meetings since 1990 trying to solve the row

The chief minister of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has rejected a call by her counterpart in neighbouring Karnataka for an out-of-court settlement in the row over sharing Cauvery river water.

J Jayalalitha said in a statement in the Tamil Nadu state assembly that she would abide by the verdict of a tribunal or court on the issue.

Karnataka's chief minister, SM Krishna, said last week he would support an out-of-court settlement and that his state had never wanted a confrontation with its neighbours.

Century-old row

A Cauvery river water tribunal was set up in 1990 after the failure of several rounds of talks.

There have been more than 25 meetings to find a settlement of the century-old dispute.

Farmers in both states rely on the Cauvery river for irrigation and those in the delta could not cultivate crops last year.

There were reports of at least 10 farmers committing suicide after being unable to bear their debts.

In February, Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee backed a Supreme Court ruling forcing Karnataka to release 4,500 cubic feet per second of river water for a three-day period to Tamil Nadu.

Neither side was happy with the decision.




SEE ALSO:
Vajpayee orders Cauvery release
10 Feb 03  |  South Asia
Protests in India water row
28 Oct 02  |  South Asia
Recriminations flow as Cauvery stops
14 Oct 02  |  South Asia
Indian court wades into water row
13 Sep 02  |  South Asia
Indian state seeks more water
11 Sep 02  |  South Asia


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