Water given to TN under distress formula, need rest for drinking, Karnataka tells SC

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New Delhi, May 7 (IANS) Karnataka on Monday told the Supreme Court that it has already released the Cauvery water that Tamil Nadu was entitled to under the “distress formula” due to deficient rainfall and needed remaining water for drinking purposes in Bengalauru and the areas falling under its part of the Cauvery basin.

In view of this, it was not required to make any more releases, said Karnataka in an affidavit in response to the top court asking it on the last date of hearing on May 3 as to how much of the 4TMC of water it can release to Tamil Nadu as per the mandate of the tribunal award.

Noting that Central government has not framed for scheme for implementing its February 16 judgment, the top court in the last hearing on May 3 had asked the Karnataka “… Karnataka will release water as per Tribunal award. You will release 4 TMC of water. Please see how much water can be released by end of May.”

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Karnataka counsel V.N.Raghupati told IANS that Tamil Nadu has already been given water they were entitled to under the distress formula and that Tamil Nadu has been given more water then it was entitled to in a distress year.

He said the state had said that whatever water was remaining was required for drinking purposes in Bengalauru and areas falling under Cauvery basin falling in Karnataka.

However, Tamil Nadu in its response has contended that Karnataka had enough water to release 4TMC of water to cover the shortfall of 1.4 TMC for April and the allocation of 2.4 TMC for May this year.

Asserting that Karnataka was acting as judge in its own cause and failing to comply with the tribunal award as affirmed by the top court by its February 16 judgement, Tamil Nadu, in its response filed with the top court registry, said: “Karnataka has 19.834 TMC ft. of water as on May 4 in its four reservoirs” and the storage in “Mettur Dam is 9.502 TMC ft. (the utilizable storage being only 4.502 TMC ft)”.

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Thus, Karnataka “is in a better position and can easily spare the 4 TMC ft” even after meeting the requirement of drinking water supply for May, that is 1.6 TMC ft, it said, seeking direction to Karnataka to “make good the shortfalls” and release 4 TMC ft. of water forthwith.

The Centre in the last hearing of the matter on May 3 had sought 10 days time saying that scheme for the implementation of tribunal award as affirmed by the top court with slight modification was before the cabinet awaiting decision as the Prime Minister and other ministers were campaigning in Karnataka – a stand which Tamil Nadu flayed as “brazen partisanship”.

The matter is coming up for hearing on Tuesday.

–IANS

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