State asks SC to reject TN plea for more water

Bad Monsoon has created crisis-like situation: Ktaka

State asks SC to reject TN plea for more water

Karnataka has urged the Supreme Court to reject Tamil Nadu’s plea seeking direction for additional release of Cauvery water from its reservoirs saying that this would create crisis for them the state has recorded just 92.2 tmc (thousand million cubic feet) flows till August 20 as against the average of 181.1 tmc last year because of bad monsoon.

“It is submitted that release of Cauvery water from the Karnataka reservoirs in the beginning of the water year that too when the situation is admittedly a distress situation caused by diminution of flows due to bad monsoon or failed monsoon is not maintainable as being premature or not being ripe,” Karnataka said in a written reply by senior advocate Anil Divan.

In response to an application filed by Tamil Nadu, the state said that water flows till August 20 in its catchment consisting of three segments viz, catchments above Kabini reservoir and KRS and intermediate catchment lying below those two and up to the inter-State border Biligundlu was only 92.2 tmc as compared to the normal inflows of 184.1 tmc.  

“Even under these conditions of severe distress situation, Karnataka has ensured about 16.4 tmc at the inter-state border, Biligundlu,” the state said, adding that the flows were bound to be deficient as it was admittedly a bad year.  

Tamil Nadu wanted the apex court to direct Karnataka to release water from its reservoirs during the current distress year, without fully impounding all the flows in its reservoirs and building up its storages.

Karnataka, on the other hand, maintained that as much as 16.36 tmc flows had been ensured to Tamil Nadu at the inter-State border Biligundlu till August 20 as against 18.98 tms flows drawn by it in four reservoirs.

It also contended that the shares of states in a distress year need not necessarily bear proportionate relationship to the share of a state in a normal year.

“The concept of distress sharing formula on pro rata sharing as mentioned is only a threshold rule. The final assessment of the shares of states in a distress year is an equitable apportionment or rationing, having regard to the ground realities or practical difficulties,” the submission prepared by advocates Mohan V Katarki, V N Raghupathy and Brijesh Kalappa said.

The reply also claimed that the issues relating to summer irrigation and carryover storage have been “belatedly and unjustly raised” to illegally take away the surplus water in Karnataka.

It further maintained that the tribunal, in its final order on February 5, 2007, had apportioned 740 tmc of water at 50 per cent dependability without issuing any directions on the surplus water available as it was intended to be used by the states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu as per the availability in their territories.

The apex court is to resume its hearing in the matter on September 3.

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