Karnataka may urge SC to dispatch fact-finding mission to Cauvery basin

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah with senior advocate and State counsel Fali S. Nariman in New Delhi on Saturday. Ministers M.B. Patil and H.K. Patil are seen. — Photo: PTI  

Karnataka, caught in a tricky situation on the release of water to Tamil Nadu, will on Monday try to impress upon the Supreme Court the state of severe shortage of water in its reservoirs in the Cauvery basin. It is expected to urge the court to dispatch a fact-finding mission to assess the gravity of the situation.

Meeting with counsel

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, a day after the Supreme Court urged the State to embrace the principle of “live and let live” and consider releasing more Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, called on State counsel Fali S. Nariman in New Delhi on Saturday, and discussed various options before the State to safeguard its interests.

As Tamil Nadu submitted an application seeking the release of 50.52 tmcft of Cauvery water to save 40,000 acres of samba crop this season, the apex court is expected to hear the matter on Monday.

Karnataka’s legal team, which held discussions with the Chief Minister, the Water Resources Minister M.B. Patil and Rural Development Panchayat Raj Minister H.K. Patil, has decided to explain the ground realities by presenting facts and figures on the availability of water in four reservoirs.

Distress formula

The State is also expected to appeal to the Supreme Court to come out with a distress formula to be followed during deficient rainfall. Clause VII of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal says “in case the yield of Cauvery basin in a distress year, the allocated shares shall be proportionately reduced among States of Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Union Territory of Pondicherry.”

Keeping into account shortage of rains and drinking water requirements of cities/towns in Cauvery Basin, the State government maintained that it was difficult to follow the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal order this season.

The south-west monsoon was 15 per cent deficient in Karnataka as on September 3, 2016. The State had shortage of 80 tmcft water in its four reservoirs – KRS, Harangi, Hemavati, and Kabini.

Official sources said that the government would also inform to the Supreme Court that the south-west monsoon was receding in Karnataka and the neighbouring State is expected to receive north-east monsoon September onwards.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2020 11:36:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Karnataka-may-urge-SC-to-dispatch-fact-finding-mission-to-Cauvery-basin/article14622018.ece

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