The Supreme Court today agreed to hear next week Tamil Nadu government’s plea seeking release of 50 TMC of water from Karnataka to meet its irrigation demands in the backdrop of the Cauvery water row.
A bench headed by Chief Justice TS Thakur posted the matter for September 2 after Tamil Nadu government mentioned it and sought an urgent hearing.
In the petition, Tamil Nadu has charged Karnataka with diverting water meant for farmers during distress years for undeclared projects, in violation of the final orders of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in 2007.
It has sought directions to Karnataka to release 50.052 TMC feet of Cauvery water to irrigate the farmland of Tamil Nadu in the ‘interest of justice’.
The plea also sought the court’s intervention to ensure that Karnataka adhered to the stipulated water releases in accordance with the 2007 order of Tribunal for the remaining months, starting from August 20 in the irrigation year of 2016-2017.
Meanwhile, a separate bench comprising Justices Gopala Gowda and Adarsh Kumar Goel posted before the apex court Registar a bunch of petitions and cross-petitions relating to the implementation of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) award, filed by various parties, including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala.
A detailed list of 17 agreed draft issues, including whether the suit for damages filed by Tamil Nadu was maintainable under Article 131 of the Constitution, was also filed before the bench which posted the matter before the Registrar for completion of proceedings.
Earlier, the apex court had refused to give an urgent hearing to a plea of Tamil Nadu government for setting up the Cauvery Management Board for implementation of the CWDT award.
At the directions of the apex court, the Centre, in 2013, had notified the final award of the CWDT on sharing the waters of the Cauvery system among the basin states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala and union territory of Puducherry.
Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal had recommended the setting up of a Cauvery Management Board/Authority on the lines of the Bhakra Beas Management Board for implementation of the order. The board, in turn, would constitute a Cauvery Water Regulation Committee for assistance.
The Tribunal, in a unanimous decision in 2007, had determined the total availability of water in the Cauvery basin at 740 thousand million cubic (tmc) feet at the Lower Coleroon Anicut site, including 14 tmcft for environmental protection and seepage into the sea.
The final award made an annual allocation of 419 tmcft to Tamil Nadu in the entire Cauvery basin, 270 tmcft to Karnataka, 30 tmcft to Kerala and 7 tmcft to Puducherry.