Cauvery dispute: SC refuses to intervene with CWMA’s order

New Delhi, Sep 21 (UNI) The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to interfere with Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA)’s order asking the Karnataka government to release 5,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu daily till September 27.

The Tamil Nadu government had filed an application, asking the Karnataka government to increase its current share of Cauvery river water from 5,000 to 7,200 cusecs per day.

The three-member bench said it will not interfere in the matter since the CWMA was monitoring the situation every 15 days.

The Tamil Nadu government alleged that its neighbouring state had released 8,000 cusecs of water as against the 15,000 cusecs that was agreed upon earlier.

In a counter-affidavit, the Karnataka government submitted that Tamil Nadu government’s application was misconceived since there is a distress condition due to the failure of the monsoons.

Further, it claimed that Tamil Nadu had misused the carry-over storage of water by drawing 69.777 TMC (thousand million cubic feet) excessively.

The CWMA informed that the Karnataka government, between August 12 and 26, had released 1,49,898 cusecs of water from the river by discharging water at Biligundlu.

Further, the Authority also asked Karnataka to ensure the release of 5,000 cusecs daily for a fortnight, starting August 29.

During today’s hearing, Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appearing for the Tamil Nadu government, argued that the CWMA had passed its final directions despite finding that the needs of the State were 7,200 cusecs per day.

Senior Advocate Shyam Divan countered that the Government of Karnataka had been compliant with the directions despite its reservations, and that it even released excess water.

The bench eventually decided not to interfere with the CWMA directions for now.

The Karnataka-Tamil Nadu dispute over the water of the Cauvery river dates back to two agreements in 1892 and 1924 between the erstwhile Madras Presidency and the Princely State of Mysore.

After several rounds of failed negotiations, the Supreme Court directed the constitution of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, which gave its award in 2007, allowing Tamil Nadu to draw a fixed amount of water every day.

However, the dispute continued after both States filed petitions to review the decision.

In 2016, Tamil Nadu again petitioned the Supreme Court as Karnataka submitted that it had no more water to share from its reservoir. Subsequently, the top court had asked the Central government to constitute a Cauvery Management Board (CMB).

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