Averaging of water released to Tamil Nadu contentious, SC tells Karnataka

Last Updated: Fri, Oct 12, 2012 16:10 hrs

New Delhi, Oct 12 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday described as "contentious" the Karnataka government's claim that the cumulative release of water to Tamil Nadu from Cauvery river was more than 9,000 cusecs per day as laid out in the Cauvery River Authority's Sep 19 award.

"This averaging of the quantity (of water released) is very contentious," said a bench of Justice D. K. Jain and Justice Madan B.Lokur, hearing a batch of petitions and application both by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on the release of 9,000 cusecs of water from Cauvery.

"One day you release 3,000 cusecs of water, next day, you release more than 9,000 cusecs of water. It will have a lot of bearing on some areas," Justice Jain observed, saying that some areas will go dry and other will get flooded.

The court's observation came as senior counsel Fali Nariman appearing for Karnataka said that he can produce the record to show that cumulative release of water from Cauvery to Tamil Nadu was more than 9,000 cusecs per day.

As court expressed its reservation over the averaging of the "cumulative" release of water, Tamil Nadu told the court that Karnataka was drawing more water as it has brought more land under crop cultivation than it was mandated under the Cauvery Tribunal's interim award.

Senior counsel C.S. Vaidyanathan, appearing for Tamil Nadu, told the court that under the Cauvery Tribunal interim awards, Karnataka was to put 8.5 lakh hectares of land under crop but it has increased it to 12.5 lakh hectares.

Thus, Vaidyanathan said that Karnataka was to use 55 tmcft (thousand million cubic feet) of water but was in fact using 60 tmcft of water. He said that this has been said in the latest report of the Cauvery River Authority Thursday.

The senior counsel told the court that it was a matter of common knowledge that southwest monsoon was deficient by 41 percent. He said that 59 percent of the monsoon water in river Cauvery should be proportionately shared by both the states on pro-rata basis.

As Vaidyanathan mentioned the report of CRA and said that he would like to make references to it, the court adjourned the hearing and directed the listing of the matter Oct 19.

The court said that it would like to go through the report before it could hear any submission based on it.

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