Criticises the way water is released to Tamil Nadu

The Supreme Court on Friday disapproved the action of the Karnataka government in releasing 3,000 cusecs to Tamil Nadu on some days and increasing the quantity over and above the stipulated 9,000 cusecs on some other days.

A Bench of Justices D.K. Jain on September 28 directed Karnataka to comply with the direction issued by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, heading the Cauvery River Authority, to release 9,000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu from September 20 to October 15.

The Bench was hearing applications by Tamil Nadu to direct Karnataka to release 2 tmcft of water daily for 24 days till the onset of the northeast monsoon and Karnataka seeking modification of the September 28 order.

During the resumed hearing Justice Jain after perusing the chart submitted by Karnataka on the water released on each day till now, told senior counsel Fali Nariman appearing for Karnataka “your decision to release 3,000 cusecs on some days and increasing the quantum cumulatively on some other days may not be justified. It might result in problems as some areas may be flooded or submerged because of the excess releases.”

Earlier Mr. Nariman told the court that the cumulative releases would show that there was no deficiency as claimed by Tamil Nadu. However, senior counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan submitted that he would demonstrate that as of today there had been a deficiency of 4 tmcft of water and Karnataka could still make up the deficit in the next three days till October 15.

Mr. Vaidyanathan drew the court’s attention to an order passed by the Cauvery Monitoring Committee on Thursday (directing Karnataka to release 8.85 tmcft of water from October 16 to 31 from its reservoirs to Tamil Nadu) and said the order of the CMC would have a bearing in the current proceedings.

The Bench posted the matter for further hearing on October 19 and permitted Karnataka to file a brief additional affidavit and rejoinder by Tamil Nadu by October 16.

In a related development the Bench dismissed a writ petition filed by Karnataka farmers challenging the direction given to the State by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, as the head of the Cauvery River Authority to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu from September 20 to October 15. The petitioners said the demand of Tamil Nadu to release water from Karnataka was totally uncalled for. The farmers in Tamil Nadu would get enough water during the north east monsoon.