The Supreme Court has directed the Karnataka government to release water from the Cauvery to Tamil Nadu for 10 days.
Hearing Tamil Nadu’s urgent plea for release of Cauvery water from Karnataka, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the Karnataka government to release 15,000 cusecs of water every day for 10 days.
Senior counsel for Karnataka Fali S Nariman had urged the Court to adjourn the hearing for a week and appoint an appellate committee to go into the matter.
Hours before the apex court verdict, police had stepped up security in areas near the KRS Dam in Mandya, and on the Mysuru Bengaluru highway.
Karnataka government had field an additional affidavit in the SC on Monday saying that the state cannot release water.
The court heard the plea on Friday and told the Karnataka government to ‘live and let live’ and consider releasing water to the neighbouring state. However, the court asked the state government to inform how much water it can release to Tamil Nadu on September 5.
Tamil Nadu government had previously petitioned at the Supreme Court demanding a release of 50 tmcft water for irrigation. In its plea for urgent hearing, Tamil Nadu has also charged Karnataka with diverting water for undeclared projects, in violation of the Cauvery Water Tribunal’s orders of 2007.
Karnataka CM argued that state cannot release water and pointed that the level of water at Cauvery basin was at 51 tmcft and refused to share water with the neighbouring state.
Over 40 tmcft of it was required to meet drinking needs of Bengaluru, Mysuru and Mandya etc, he said.
Farmers in both states have been protesting against the water sharing issue.
"When there is deficit in the release of water some attempts have to be made by Karnataka so that Tamil Nadu can survive as an entity," said the judges.
To Karnataka government’s defence that it does not have water in its reservoirs the court asked, "You can't say you are not bothered about the Tribunal's (decision). If the tribunal determined the formula, how can you get away from it?"