The Supreme Court today directed the Karnataka government to release 177.25 tmcft of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from its inter-state Biligundlu dam.
The Salient points of verdicts : The court instructed Karnataka to release 177.25 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu from its inter-state Biligundlu dam.
Karnataka will get 284.75 tmcft. That's a 14.75 tmcft more than the 2007 tribunal award of 270 tmcft.
Tamil Nadu will now get 404.25 tmcft of Cauvery water, instead of the 419 tmcft allotted by the tribunal.
The Supreme Court allowed Tamil Nadu to draw an additional 10 tmcft of 'groundwater,' from a total of 20 tmcft beneath the Cauvery basin.
The 2007 tribunal award of 30 tmcft to Kerala, and of 7 tmcft to Puducherry, will remain unchanged.
The much-awaited judgment was pronounced by a bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar, which had on September 20 last year reserved the verdict on the appeals filed by Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala against the 2007 award of the tribunal.
Reading out the operative portion of the verdict, the Chief Justice said the 2007 tribunal award of 30 tmcft to Kerala and 7 tmcft water to Puducherry will remain unchanged. The apex court also allowed Tami Nadu to draw an additional 10 tmcft 'groundwater' from a total of 20 tmcft beneath the Cauvery basin.
It said the increase in share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft is because of the 10 tmcft groundwater and 4.75 tmcft drinking water requirement for Bengaluru residents.
Karnataka and Tamil Nadu had approached the Supreme Court after the Cauvery River Water Dispute Tribunal, in 2007, awarded yearly allocation of 419 tmc to Tamil Nadu in the entire Cauvery basin, 270 tmc to Karnataka, 30 tmc to Kerala and 7 tmc to Puducherry.
The dispute dates back to the Madras-Mysore agreements of 1924. It was in 1990 when the Centre created a tribunal to examine the conflict and address the water shortage.
Senior DMK leader Duraimurugan says: “It was a shocking setback for Tamil Nadu which is the result of the absolutely poor performance of the Tamil Nadu lawyers in the SC. The government must accept responsibility and resign.”
AIADMK MP Navneethakrishnan, a lawyer for Tamil Nadu, said the verdict was a setback, but also that his state's administration had to study the judgement "in-depth." He expressed hope that the Tamil Nadu government would take appropriate steps.
Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah addresses the state Assembly. He welcomes the verdict and says the state has fought for the issue for so many years.