The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu for a week and also asked the Centre to constitute a Cauvery Management Board (CMB) within four weeks in order to find a solution to the Cauvery river water dispute.
A bench led by Justice Dipak Misra directed Karnataka to release this amount of water from its reservoirs for the period between September 21 and September 27, the next date of hearing.
The decision comes amid protests from farmers and pro-Kannada groups after the supervisory committee on Monday ordered Karnataka to release 3,000 cusecs of water for 10 days (September 21-30) to its neighbouring state. Both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu had opposed it in the SC.
The CMB was conceived by the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in 2007, which ordered Karnataka to release 172 tmc of water in a ‘normal’ year to Tamil Nadu. The Centre notified the award in 2013, but did not constitute the CMB.
“We will have to sacrifice our drinking water for irrigation purposes in Tamil Nadu,” Fali Nariman, appearing for the Karnataka government, said to the court. Senior counsel Harish Salve, also appearing for Karnataka, told the SC that it will have to part with drinking water of the state if it is forced to release water to TN for irrigation.
Karnataka has been opposing the formation of the Cauvery Water Management Board, saying that it will lead to more problems. While Karnataka said it was in a position not to release any water, Tamil Nadu said 3,000 cusecs of water would not be enough for carrying out cultivation of crops in the Cauvery Delta region.
Senior advocate Shekhar Naphde, who was arguing for Tamil Nadu, said: “There is no such crises of drinking water in Bengaluru as Karnataka is claiming.”
The apex court also allowed TN and Karnataka to file objections to Cauvery supervisory committee report in three days. On September 5, the SC had directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water per day till September 16. This order was revised on September 12 to 12,000 cusecs of water per day till Tuesday.
Need to promote waste water use on sustainable scale: PwC
To deal with water scarcity due to rapid urbanisation witnessed across the country, there is need to promote use of waste water in a bigger and sustainable scale, consulting firm PwC on Tuesday said in a report. “There is a need for developing waste water reuse as a sector, identifying the interventions that could help in the development of this sector and also identifying suitable structures that can help in mainstreaming the implementation of waste water reuse projects in the country,” a PwC report titled ‘Closing the water loop: reuse of treated waste water in urban India’ has stated.