The Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would declare its verdict on the Cauvery water dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka within a month, reported PTI. There has been enough confusion on the matter for over two decades, the top court said.

In September 2017, a three-judge bench had reserved its verdict on the case after hearing appeals filed by Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu against the 2007 order of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal. The tribunal had ruled that the water be shared between several states in the region – 419 tmc (thousand million cubic feet) would be allocated for Tamil Nadu, 270 tmc for Karnataka, 30 tmc for Kerala, and 7 tmc for Puducherry.

“Any forum can touch the matter after the verdict is delivered in the issue,” a bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud said. The court’s announcement came after it heard a petition filed by a citizens’ group seeking its intervention to ensure the supply of drinking water to residents of Bengaluru and several other districts in Karnataka. Led by philanthropist Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, the Bangalore Political Action Committee asked the court to protect their right to life by ensuring they had access to adequate drinking water.

“This is indeed an alarming situation which requires urgent attention of the relevant authorities, and it is also the need of the hour that the present scenario is brought to the notice of this court,” the Bengaluru-based group said in its petition.

Decades-old dispute

The Cauvery water dispute has been going on for 22 years now. In 2016, there were widespread protests and subsequent violence in both Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. The water-sharing row had snowballed into a massive problem after the Supreme Court directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu. It had later modified its verdict and reduced the quantity to 12,000 cusecs, but the order led to widespread protests by farmers in Karnataka, who argued that the state needed the water more than its neighbour.