Cauvery river issue: SC orders Karnataka to release 12 K cusecs of water till September 20

New Delhi [India], Sept. 12 : Modifying its September 5 order, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the Government of Karnataka to release to release 12000 cusecs of Cauvery River water every day to Tamil Nadu till September 20.

It had earlier directed the Government of Karnataka to release of 15,000 cusecs of water for 10 days as immediate relief to farmers in Tamil Nadu.

The apex court also rejected Karnataka's demand to keep its September 5 order for releasing water to Tamil Nadu in abeyance.

The Karnataka Government again approached the apex court for modification of today's order. However, the top court refused to change it. The "agony claimed by Tamil Nadu on the water crisis" doesn't exist, the Karnataka government maintained before the apex court.

Supreme Court judge Justice Dipak Mishra, however, expressed his displeasure over the Karnataka Government's failure to implement its order of September 5 and observed that "Citizens and executive of this country have to accept and obey orders of the Supreme Court unless it is modified.

If the court passes an order, either comply or come for modification. People cannot take law into their hands." Justice Mishra also took objection to the language and tone of the Karnataka affidavit, saying that the court was unhappy with the drafting of the affidavit, adding that this was not the way to file it.

An immediate fallout of the Cauvery water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu was visible on the streets of Mylapore in Tamil Nadu, when petrol bombs were hurled at an Udupi restaurant - New Woodlands hotel on Monday.

A written note was also found which said that more attacks will follow if Tamilians are assaulted in Karnataka.

Police said that the incident occurred around 3.15 a m, and confirmed that the attack was carried out by a group of people protesting against Karnataka's obstructionist attitude in releasing Cauvery river waters.

No person was injured in the attack, the police and the hotel management added. The sharing of waters of the Cauvery river has been a source of serious conflict between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

The genesis of this conflict rests in two agreements one in 1892 and the other in 1924 between the erstwhile Madras Presidency and Princely State of Mysore.

The 802-kilometre-long Cauvery river has a 44,000 square kilometre basin area in Tamil Nadu and 32,000 square kilometre basin area in Karnataka.

Karnataka contends that it does not receive its due share of water from the river. It claims that the agreements were skewed heavily in favour of the Madras Presidency, and has demanded a renegotiated settlement based on "equitable sharing of the waters".

Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, pleads that it has already developed almost 3,000,000 acres of land and as a result has come to depend very heavily on the existing pattern of usage.

Any change in this pattern, it says, will adversely affect the livelihood of millions of farmers in the state.

Decades of negotiations between the parties has borne no fruit. The Government of India constituted a tribunal in 1990 to look into the matter. After hearing arguments of all the parties involved for the next 16 years, the tribunal delivered its final verdict on February 5, 2007.

In its verdict, the tribunal allocated 419 billion cubic feet of water annually to Tamil Nadu and 270 billion cubic feet to Karnataka; 30 billion cubic feet to Kerala and 7 billion cubic feet to Puducherry.

The dispute however, appears not to have concluded, as all four states have filed review petitions seeking clarifications and possible renegotiation of the order.

Source: ANI