SC: continue releasing 2,000 cusecs water to TN

SC: continue releasing 2,000 cusecs water to TN

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a Karnataka government's plea expressing its inability to provide 2000 cusecs of Cauvery river water daily to Tamil Nadu due to shortage of drinking water.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice Dipak Misra allowed Tamil Nadu's plea to issue direction to Karnataka to continue releasing 2000 cusecs of Cauvery water every day as ordered on January 4.

The court passed its order even though senior advocate F S Nariman, representing Karnataka, submitted that there was acute shortage of drinking water in the state.

Let’s pray
“There is no water in the state even for drinking purpose. Tamil Nadu should join Karnataka in praying to God for more rain,” Nariman said. Retorting that he was a rationalist, senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, representing Tamil Nadu, submitted that the order passed by the apex court had not been fully complied with by Karnataka.

The court refused to pass any order on TN's plea for stopping certain lift irrigation projects undertaken by Karnataka in the Cauvery basin districts.

“We can't stop any project as of today,” the bench told Naphade, who alleged Karnataka continued to build different lift irrigation projects in violation of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal award of 2007.

The court, however, agreed to consider TN's plea at the time of final hearing of civil appeals from July 11.

At the outset, TN complained before the bench, also comprising Justices Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar, that Kerala was going ahead with several projects and utilising water more than allocated to it.

However, Kerala's counsel, senior advocate Jaydeep Gupta, gave an undertaking before the court that the state would not utilise more than the allocated water through any project or check dams. The court said his statement would be subject to the outcome of the civil appeals pending before it.

During the brief hearing, the court set modalities for final hearing of civil appeals in the water sharing dispute as the counsels, representing Karnataka, TN and Kerala agreed that arguments would be finished within 15 working days if the matter was heard the whole day between every Tuesday and Thursday from July 11.

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