SC increases Karnataka’s Cauvery water share, reduces Tamil Nadu’s

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 17 Feb 2018 09:01:14




Supreme Court increases share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduces Tamil Nadu’s share while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin

The Supreme Court on Friday raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu’s share while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin, saying the issue of drinking water has to be placed on a ‘higher pedestal’.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Amitava Roy and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar reduced the share of the state as it noted that the Cauvery Tribunal had not taken into account the 20 TMC of ground water available in Tamil Nadu’s side of the river basin. “In totality, we deem it appropriate to award to the State of Karnataka an additional 14.75 TMC of water, i.e., 10 TMC (on account of availability of ground water in Tamil Nadu) + 4.75 TMC (for drinking and domestic purposes including such need for the whole city of Bengaluru),” the court said in its order.

In view of the allocation of an additional 14.75 TMC of water to Karnataka, the court said: “The State of Karnataka would now be required to release 177.25 TMC of water at the inter-state border with Tamil Nadu, i.e., at Billigundulu.”
Justifying the cut in the share of Tamil Nadu, the court pointed to the empirical data which suggested that around 20 TMC of groundwater was available in Tamil Nadu -- a position which the Tribunal did not take into account describing it as a “conjecture”.

“We, while keeping in mind the risks associated with over-extraction of underground water, deem it fit that 10 TMC of the said available groundwater in Tamil Nadu can, in the facts and circumstances of the present case, be accounted for in the final determination of its share”, the court said.

Therefore, the share of Karnataka has been increased by 14.75 TMC, which includes increased allocation for “global” city of Bengaluru for drinking purposes. “Drinking water requirement of the overall population of all the States has to be placed on a higher pedestal as we treat it as a hierarchically fundamental principle of equitable distribution,” said Chief Justice Dipak Misra speaking for the bench.

Allocating 4.75 TMC to Bengaluru, the judgement said that Karnataka could use the increased allocation for irrigation and industrial purposes by marginally increasing its area under crop. “Keeping in mind the global status that the city (Bengaluru) has attained, an addition of 4.75 TMC is awarded to Karnataka,” the court said. Concurring with the Tribunal awards, except for the reduction in the share of TN, the court said that after considering all relevant material brought on record, “we are of the view that having regard to imperative of economy of consumption of water, the final determination of irrigated area arrived at by the Tribunal for Tamil Nadu cannot be declared incorrect or fallacious”.

Karnataka relieved over ‘favourable’ Cauvery verdict: KARNATAKA on Friday heaved a sigh of relief after the Supreme Court gave a verdict in its favour in a dispute over the sharing of the Cauvery river water with neighbouring Tamil Nadu, an official said. Expressing happiness over the verdict, Siddaramaiah told reporters that he would respond to the judgement of the top court after consulting lawyers and studying the final order.

Karnataka bus services to TN hit after Cauvery verdict: THE state-run Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation’s (KSRTC) services to neighbouring Tamil Nadu were hit on Friday after the Supreme Court’s verdict on the Cauvery river water, an official said.