Cauvery water dispute: Tamil Nadu pins hope on SC

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New Delhi, Dec 1: With Tamil Nadu and Karnataka failing to agree on how much Cauvery water should be released by the latter, the Supreme Court will now decide whether the former's plea for the release of 30 thousand million cubic feet (tmcft) of water between Dec 1 and 15 is feasible.

The apex court bench of justices Madan B Lokur and DK Jain has directed counsels of both the states to file documents supporting their respective arguments by today.

"We will read these documents. Both the Advocates-on-Record will sit together," Justice Jain said at yesterday's hearing. He asked CS Vaidyanathan, who was representing Tamil Nadu, to specify the state's "minimum demand" with regard to water for irrigating the samba crop.

The counsel said that if Karnataka does not release 30 tmcft over the next fortnight, the standing crop will wither away. To another query about samba crop being cultivated in winter only, Vaidyanathan replied that the crop has to be harvested this month itself. He stressed that the standing crop needs to be irrigated properly for at least 15 days.

Anil Divan, appearing for Karnataka, submitted that the state's total requirement is 78 tmcft but the storage at present is only "to the extent of 57 tmcft." Karnataka has fully complied with the Cauvery Monitoring Committee's directives, he told the court.

Referring to the tense situation in the delta districts of Tamil Nadu, Vaidyanathan said, "Farmers are resorting to suicides" and urged the bench to do something quickly. "Please decide today or on Monday, but don't send us anywhere," he added.

Justice Jain then said that the bench will hear Tamil Nadu's plea on Dec 3.

Meanwhile, farmers in Tamil Nadu slammed the Karnataka government's "arbitrary decisions" and demanded the Centre's urgent intervention in the matter.

Cauvery Rights and Rescue Group members even burnt an effigy of Jagadish Shettar, Chief Minister of Karnataka, with whom his Tamil Nadu counterpart J Jayalalithaa held discussions two days ago in Bangalore.

The group warned that any further delay in resolving the vexed dispute will lead to more farmer suicides in the delta districts.

OneIndia News

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