SC orders more Cauvery for Karnataka, setback for TN
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered that Karnataka would get an additional 14.75 tmcft of Cauvery water. In what is seen as a setback for Tamil Nadu, the court while delivering the Cauvery waters verdict said that Karnataka will provide 177.2 TMC water to Tamil Nadu. This would mean Karnataka will get additional 14.75 tmcft as compared to the tribunal's order which had ordered release of 192 tmcft. As a result of this TN's water share has been reduced to 177.25 tmcft.
The court said that it increased the Cauvery water share of Karnataka by 14.75 tmc ft because of increased drinking water requirement of Bangalore residents and other industrial activities. TN will have to now bank on 10 TMC ground water available with it.
The court said that Karnataka would be releasing 177.25 tmc ft Cauvery water to TN from Biligundulu every year.
The award of the tribunal was minimally altered while fully endorsing the method used by the Tribunal to give its final award in 2007.
The court sad that no deviance shall be shown by any state. The verdict is that Karnataka will be providing 177.25 TMC to Tamil Nadu. Karnataka gets an additional 14.75 TMC as compared to the 2007 order, where it was giving 192 TMC to TN.
Further the SC permitted TN to draw additional 10 tmc ft ground water from a total available 20 tmc beneath Cauvery basis.
Bengaluru will receive an additional 4.2 TMC of water. "The pre-independence agreement is valid. Karnataka gets additional water keeping in mind the water shortage that Bengaluru is facing.
The court also maintained the Tribunal award of 30 tmc ft Cauvery water for Kerala and 7 for Puducherry.
Further the court held that the 1921 agreements on Cauvery water sharing cannot be questioned now by Karnataka as it did not do so in 1947 nor in 1956. However it also added that the 1921 agreement had expired in 1971 and it cannot be the basis for water sharing now.
The court held that rivers are national resources and no single state can claim exclusive right over a inter-state river just because it originates from that particular state.
Further it also observed that the Tribunal erred in thinking that Bengaluru falls outside the Cauvery basin and it has 60% ground water.
The court also upheld the Tribunal's 30 TMC Cauvery water to Kerala. Puducherry allowed a second crop considering its geopolitical position. It can cultivate 43k acres. However no enhancement in allocation of water.
The court observed that Karnataka is entitled to marginal relief. There is "no perversity" in tribunal's allocation of water to TN, the Bench also said.
The 1924 post-Mettur dam agreement expired in 1974. Now the principle of water allocation is based on "equitable apportionment" and not primacy the court held.
The Bench observed that Karnataka is entitled to marginal relief. There is "no perversity" in tribunal's allocation of water to TN. The 1924 post-Mettur dam agreement expired in 1974. Now the principle of water allocation is based on "equitable apportionment" and not primacy the court also said.
Further it also stated that the 1892 and 1924 agreements on Cauvery river water allocation were not "political arrangements" but based on public interest.