Can Cauvery verdict be implemented in distress year? Karnataka’s counsel explains
The order in the Cauvery Waters dispute came as a major relief to Karnataka after the Supreme Court reduced the quantum of water that it had to share with Tamil Nadu.
According to the order Karnataka is to provide 177.2 tmcft of water to Tamil Nadu. As a result of this, the water share for Karnataka was increased by 14.75 tmcft. The court held that the water share was increased keeping in mind the drinking water requirements of the residents of Bengaluru. It also said it was keeping in mind the other industrial activities in the city.
The court said that for the next 15 years Karnataka would be releasing 177.25 tmc ft Cauvery water to TN from Biligundulu every year. There shall be absolutely no deviance shall be shown by any state, the Bench also held.
Mohan Katarki, advocate for Karnataka sounded relieved following the order. I am satisfied with the verdict as it is a balanced one, he told OneIndia.
He said that the order protects the interest of both states. I am happy to the extent that the liability on Karnataka has been reduced, he also added. For Tamil Nadu, the order is a workable one and it is in the interest of the lower riparian. TN can now plan and pull up their socks, he also added.
However the key question would be what happens during a drought year. Can the share of 177.2 tmcft of water be released by Karnataka when the rains fail. Katarki says that there is some discussion on this issue in the 400 page order of the Supreme Court. The distress formula would come into play in such a scenario, he added, while also stating that he would study the order in detail.
Brijesh Kalappa who also appeared for the state of Karnataka said that the judgement is a good one and he is reasonably pleased with it. I am yet to read the entire verdict and once done, I will be in a better position to comment, he said.
On the reduction of water to be shared, he says that court came to the conclusion solely on the water needs of Bengaluru. This is a point we argued upon and managed to impress the court on the same, he also added.
On the Cauvery Management Board, the court has said that it is a purely legislative function. He said that the court would not interfere with it.