The Supreme Court on Monday directed Karnataka government to release 15,000 cusec of water to Tamil Nadu for 10 days. The apex court had recently advised both the states to “live and let live”, as they continued to lock horns over the release of Cauvery water.
“Tamil Nadu’s situation is ‘water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink’. Some steps have to be taken by Karnataka so that the other State [Tamil Nadu] can exist as an entity. The principle of ‘live and let live’ has to be applied to this dispute,” a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and UU Lalit said.
In a recent plea, Tamil Nadu had sought a direction to Karnataka to release 50.52 tmc feet of Cauvery water to save 40,000 acres of samba crops this season. In response to which, Karnataka said it has a deficit of about 80 tmc feet in its four reservoirs. In Tamil Nadu, a number of farmers and families have been affected by the inadequate supply of water and resorted to protest against Karnataka for the same. While the latter claimed that it was unable to release the water due to deficit rainfall in the river basin area.
At the directions of the apex court, the Centre, in 2013, had notified the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) on sharing the waters of the Cauvery system among the basin states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and union territory of Puducherry.
The Cauvery water row is a serious conflict between the two states. While Karnataka claims that it did not receive its due share of water from the river as specified in the two agreements of 1892 and 1924, Tamil Nadu on the other hand pleads that it has developed large acres of land that require proper irrigation, otherwise livelihood of millions of farmers will be affected. The dispute has been going on for decades and is yet to conclude.