State urges SC to modify Cauvery order

State urges SC to modify Cauvery order

State urges SC to modify Cauvery order
Karnataka on Monday urged the Supreme Court to modify its September 20 order, directing it to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu. “Permit the state before the end of the season (Jan 31, 2017) to account for (and to release) the quantity of water directed to be released by the court’s order dated 20.9.2016 and direct accordingly,” Karnataka said in its plea. The Supreme Court is to resume the hearing on the release of water on Tuesday.

Karnataka further submitted, “In a year of insufficient rainfall and distress, the state is nonetheless obliged to reserve water for supply to its inhabitants at the national standards norms – namely 135 litres per capita (per day) in urban areas and 70 litres per capita (per day) in rural areas. In discussions between the representatives of the government and the irrigation authorities of the state on September 16, it was decided to take steps to ensure drinking water to inhabitants in the Cauvery basin.”

Maintaining that the order for the release of 6,000 cusecs should be treated as arrears or shortfall to be cleared at the end of season, the state also pointed at the resolution passed by the Karnataka Legislature for meeting the drinking requirements.

Karnataka said the live storage at Mettur dam was 50.04 tmcft as on September 20 and 48.31 tmcft as on September 24, and asserted that it was adequate for Tamil Nadu to meet the requirements for the samba crop. It also submitted that the Northeast monsoon was also expected to be normal, which would reduce dependence on Mettur.

Karnataka has already ensured 52.2 tmcft on the border between June 1 and September 25. It said it was reasonably anticipated that the available water at the end of the season would be 90.32 tmcft, which is much more than the highest-ever quantity drawn from the Mettur dam by Tamil Nadu for irrigation. Even in the worst monsoon years (2003-04), the water drawn by the neighbour state was 50.71 tmcft.

Tamil Nadu, for its part, also filed an application praying the court not to hear Karnataka for its “conscious refusal” to release water, or till it made good the shortfall following the court’s directions on September 5, 12 and 20.

Contending that Karnataka was acting as a judge in its own cause, Tamil Nadu said the prestige and dignity of the apex court was at stake and if the Karnataka government believed that their partisan interests should prevail over the interests of the other state, the result would be total anarchy. Tamil Nadu contended that the functionaries of Karnataka seemed to believe they can defy with impunity the apex court’s orders and treat them with contempt.