The Karnataka government on Monday maintained its position that it had time till December to ensure adequate release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu at the inter State-border, Biligundlu.
In its rejoinder to Tamil Nadu’s reply in the Supreme Court, Karnataka, however, made it clear that it did not have any reservations about the convening of the Cauvery River Authority by the Prime Minister, but wanted the meeting to be held at the end of September.
Regarding the question of distress, it drew the attention of the court to an earlier stand of Tamil Nadu that distress should be made good by the end of the season. “The present stand is contrary to its unequivocal stand taken earlier,” it said.
Karnataka said: “Firstly, the assessment of distress should be at the end of September when the [progress of] southwest monsoon is fairly known. Secondly, deficit should be made good by the end of particular season and the releases from Karnataka reservoirs be made thereafter [without prejudice].”
It said: “At the end of August 31, the deficit based on the application of the rigid pro-rata distress formula of the Sub-Group [without prejudice] is only 26.06 tmcft. The State of Karnataka strongly disputes the estimation of a deficit of 36 tmcft made by the State of Tamil Nadu in its rejoinder. The said wrongful estimation is based on the interim order of the Tribunal which does not survive and Mettur measurements which are consistently incorrect. The pro-rata formula applied by Tamil Nadu is inequitable and not based on ground realities and practical difficulties, as required by the final order of the Tribunal dated February 5, 2007.” Karnataka sought dismissal of Tamil Nadu’s application.
In its application, Tamil Nadu wanted a direction to the Centre to convene a meeting of the CRA immediately to perform its statutory obligations and approve the distress-sharing formula evolved by the Cauvery Monitoring Committee for sharing flows of the river in view of the distress situation in the State.