Just one day before the Centre is due to submit its report on the steps taken to frame a scheme to ensure Cauvery water is released, the state governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka have filed disputing affidavits before the apex court.
On May 3, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had asked Karnataka to look into the quantum of water to be released to Tamil Nadu.
In response, the Karnataka government on Monday filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court which stated that despite scanty rainfall, Karnataka had released an increased amount of 116.7 tmcft of water as opposed to the required 100.4 tmcft. Thus, it stated, no more water needed to be released to Tamil Nadu.
Karnataka also said that in the dry season, it was required to release not more than 1.24 tmcft and 1.22 tmcft of water in March and April respectively.
Furthermore, Karnataka said that the Tamil Nadu government had taken 719 cusecs of water for its drinking water purposes.
Stating that Tamil Nadu's water needs until May 30 only amount to 3.60 tmcft of water, Karnataka said it had released more than the required share of water.
In response, the Tamil Nadu government also filed an affidavit before the Supreme Court, which said that of the 9 tmcft water available in its dams, only 4.5 tmcft was usable and sought the release of 4 tmcft more.
It also asked the SC to direct the Centre to form the implementation authority with immediate effect.
On May 8, the Centre is expected to file a report detailing the steps it has taken to comply with the apex court’s judgement on the Cauvery dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on forming a scheme.
Tamil Nadu interprets the use of the word ‘scheme’ in the SC judgement as the Cauvery Management Board (CMB). Karnataka, on the other hand, argued that the word ‘Board’ is not there in the verdict and suggested alternatives to the CMB.
A Supreme Court judgement on February 16 had reduced TN’s share of Cauvery water from Karnataka from 192 TMC to 177.25 TMC but also directed the Centre to frame a scheme to within six weeks to implement the order.
Even as the six-week deadline to form the authority expired on March 29, the Centre sought a three-month extension. On May 3, after missing the second deadline, Attorney-General of India KK Venugopal informed the Supreme Court that "Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other central ministers were busy campaigning for the Karnataka assembly elections" and hence the scheme could not be vetted by the Cabinet of Ministers.