Cauvery row: Karnataka files review petition in SC

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New Delhi, Oct 5: Karnataka yesterday filed a review petition in the Supreme Court that had ordered the state to release daily 9000 cusecs (cubic feet per second) of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu until Oct 15.

The Karnataka government said that water is being released as per the court's Sept 28 directive although the state's water needs have been negatively impacted.

Stating that 2012 is a "distress water year" as far as the state is concerned, the petition said that around 38 tmc (thousand million cubic feet) of Cauvery water can be shared with Tamil Nadu between Oct 1 and Jan 31, 2013.

The Karnataka government pointed out that 140 tmc of water is needed for irrigating agricultural fields in the state and supply of drinking water till the summer of 2013. "Water storage as on Oct 2 is 67 tmc feet and expected inflow is 40 tmc feet, far below the future requirement of 140 tmc feet," the petition said.

It pointed out that on Sept 10 when the Karnataka Chief Secretary informed the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) about the state's willingness to release 10,000 cusecs daily to Tamil Nadu, reservoirs in the state were receiving 32,225 cusecs per day.

This inflow decreased to 5,157 cusecs by Sept 25, the Karnataka government said. "The assessment of the inflows and requirements at the end of September is available. The CRA which met on Sept 19 had a truncated picture before it," the petition said.

According to the Karnataka government, the available data indicates that Tamil Nadu's needs can be met even if 9000 cusecs is not released every day.

Citing the release of just 38 tmc to Tamil Nadu in 2003-04, the petition said that the situation was quite similar back then. The Karnataka government argued that Tamil Nadu only requires 120 tmc between Oct 1 and Jan 31, 2013. By the latter date, the samba crop in Tamil Nadu is usually cultivated.

In reference to the protests being staged by farmers and political parties across Karnataka, the government stressed that "The reaction of the people cannot be ignored."

The petition said that the highways connecting the two states have been blocked and education institutions had to be closed in view of the protests.

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