Published: Fri, February 16, 2018
Health | By Jay Jacobs

Supreme Court Reduces Tamil Nadu's Water Share

Supreme Court Reduces Tamil Nadu's Water Share

The court also allocated an additional 14.75 tmcft of water to Karnataka to fulfil the drinking water needs of the city of Bengaluru.

Though Tamil Nadu has said that the verdict has "disappointed" them, the SC's decision which will now remain in force for 15 years has got enormous relief to residents of Karnataka.

In effect, Tamil Nadu will now get 404.25 tmcft of Cauvery water, instead of the 419 tmcft allotted to the state by the CWDT.

The reduction in the quantum of the Tamil Nadu's share of Cauvery water by 14.74 tmcft was a blow to the State and would affect irrigation for about one lakh acres here, said Cauvery S. Dhanapalan, general secretary, Cauvery Farmers Protection Association. The Centre had notified the tribunal's award in 2013.

The apex court had in January said the verdict would be pronounced within a month, adding that the matter has already created enough confusion for decades.

"Our allocation has been substantially enhanced, and we will get an additional 14 TMC of water".

Navneeth Krishnan, counsel for TN state said that TN government would study the judgement and take appropriate steps. However, it allowed Tamil Nadu to draw additional 10 tmcft "groundwater" from total of 20 tmcft beneath Cauvery basin. The water allocation arrangement will continue for the next 15 years.

Tamil Nadu has sought the direction to implement the tribunal's decision. The bench delivering the verdict was headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and also comprises Justices Amitava Roy and AM Khanwilkar. The verdict is a balance verdict which protects interest of both the states.

"We are very happy with the verdict".

Upon the conclusion of the hearing on November 20, the court had primarily asked Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to submit written notes which would include the question of law by Karnataka, opposition to the proposition of question of law by Tamil Nadu, significant aspects of 2007 tribunal award and the principles that were invoked by the tribunal, the genesis of the issues and other dimensions. The verdict holds significance since sharing the Cauvery water is an emotive as well existential issue for thousands of families dependent on the river that flows between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The apex court has also announced that 20 TMC of ground water in Tamil Nadu had not been accounted for and needed to be seen.

The court observed that Karnataka is entitled to marginal relief.

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