The Cauvery river dispute over the years

Karnataka seeks change in SC order

Succumbing to political pressure and the wave of public protests, the Karnataka government on Saturday filed a plea to modify a Supreme Court order directing it to share Cauvery water with distressed neighbour Tamil Nadu.

In a move depicting its urgency, the Karnataka government’s legal team knocked on the door of the Supreme Court Judicial Registrar’s home around 10.30 p.m. and handed over its modification application to the official.

The plea, for an urgent hearing in the matter, will be placed before Chief Justice of India T.S. Thakur, who in all likelihood would refer it to a Bench led by Justice Dipak Misra. It was Justice Misra’s Bench which had on September 5 passed the interim order for release of 15,000 cusecs to Tamil Nadu.

Karnataka lawyers went the extra mile to have the petition heard urgently because the Supreme Court is on leave on both September 13 and 14.

The application said that 66,000 cusecs of water had already been released to Tamil Nadu as a goodwill gesture from September 5 till September 10.

It said the water is for storage purpose in Tamil Nadu while Karnataka is reeling under a drinking water crisis. The application said the order had caused great distress to the public and ordinary farmers of Karnataka was in a turmoil. It said the samba region of Tamil Nadu had sufficient supply of ground water for cultivation.

The apex court had ordered Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water for a period of 10 days to the State to feed its parched agricultural lands in the “interests of justice.”

The decision to direct Karnataka to part with 15,000 cusecs of water for the stipulated period came shortly after the apex court had urged it to embrace the principle of “live and let live.” It had advised Karnataka to take steps to release Cauvery water to distressed Tamil Nadu to help the latter continue to “exist as an entity.”

The court noted that Tamil Nadu had suffered deficit for three straight months in June, July and August this year.

The State had sought the apex court’s intervention to release 50.052 tmcft of Cauvery water from Karnataka’s reservoirs. It had accused Karnataka of diverting precious river water meant to be a lifesaver for Tamil Nadu farmers during distress years for undeclared projects in violation of the final orders of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in 2007.

The application said the State had not even received the 10 daily/monthly releases of Cauvery water for the months from June 1 to August 19, 2016, causing a cumulative shortfall of 50.052 tmcft at Biligundlu.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 8:38:14 AM |

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