SC agrees to hear TN's plea for 50 tmcft of Cauvery water

SC agrees to hear TN's plea for 50 tmcft of Cauvery water
The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear on September 2 Tamil Nadu’s petition for direction to Karnataka to release 50.052 tmcft of Cauvery water from its reservoirs for cultivation of samba (rice).

A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice T S Thakur posted Tamil Nadu’s application for consideration after the state’s counsel sought urgent hearing. In its application, Tamil Nadu accused Karnataka of diverting the river’s water, which is the lifesaver for its farmers in distress years, for undeclared projects “in violation” of the 2007 final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

“The attempt of Karnataka to deliberately undermine the final order of the tribunal by drawing water for summer irrigation and by planning and executing new schemes has to be stopped, failing which the inhabitants of the applicant state will be put to irreparable loss and hardship,” Tamil Nadu argued.  Claiming that Karnataka “flouted” the principles of federalism and inter-state water-sharing, Tamil Nadu maintained that it had not received its daily/monthly share of Cauvery water from June 1 to August 19, 2016, which caused a cumulative shortfall of 50.052 tmcft at Biligundlu.

Tamil Nadu said Karnataka was yet to reply to its request of July 30, 2016, to make up for shortage of 22.934 tmcft of water as on July 26. Tamil Nadu urged the court to direct Karnataka to release 25 tmcft of water to Biligundlu within the next 10 days to make up for the shortage of 50 tmcft.

This is necessary to facilitate cultivation of samba in the Cauvery basin of Tamil Nadu. In addition, Tamil Nadu urged the court to direct Karnataka to replenish the remaining shortfall of 25 tmcft of water at Biligundlu before the third week of September so as to sustain samba cultivation.

Meanwhile, Karnataka’s counsel senior advocate F S Nariman and his Tamil Nadu counterpart submitted before a separate bench of Justices V Gopala Gowda and Adarsh K Goel that both states had agreed on issues for determination of the suit by Tamil Nadu for damages caused by short delivery of water as per interim award of the Cauvery tribunal in 1991, 1992 and 1995.  The bench directed both the states to submit a list of witnesses within four weeks for deciding the suit for compensation.
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