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HomeNewsCauvery Water Dispute: Karnataka Responds to Tamil Nadu's Plea in Supreme Court

Cauvery Water Dispute: Karnataka Responds to Tamil Nadu’s Plea in Supreme Court

Cauvery Water Dispute:Tamil Nadu had sought a direction from Karnataka to release 24,000 cusecs of Cauvery water daily for standing crops

Chennai, 24 August (City Times): Cauvery Water Dispute: In a new twist to the ongoing Cauvery water dispute, the state of Karnataka has filed a counter affidavit in the Supreme Court in response to Tamil Nadu’s plea. Tamil Nadu had sought a direction from Karnataka to release 24,000 cusecs of Cauvery water daily for standing crops. However, Karnataka has called this plea ‘misconceived’ and raised concerns over the water availability due to low rainfall.

Challenges to Tamil Nadu’s Plea:

Karnataka’s counter affidavit argues that Tamil Nadu’s application is based on an incorrect assumption that the current water year is normal, not distressed. Karnataka points out that the rainfall has been 25% less and the inflow into its reservoirs is down by 42.5%. Due to this, Karnataka states that the stipulated release of water cannot be applied this year.

Water Requirements and Usage:

Karnataka contests the urgency claimed by Tamil Nadu to save standing crops, saying that the required water for the Kuruvai rice crop has already been exceeded. It emphasizes that Tamil Nadu has drawn excessive water, potentially impacting its usage beyond prescribed limits. The affidavit notes that Tamil Nadu has misused the carryover storage as well, drawing more water than allocated by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.

Distress Conditions and Water Availability:

Karnataka highlights the distress conditions in the Cauvery basin due to the failure of the southwest monsoon. It asserts that due to the shortfall in water availability, it cannot be compelled to ensure water release as per normal year stipulations. The state also raises concerns about meeting its own agricultural and drinking water needs.

Compliance and Authority Directions:

Karnataka emphasizes its compliance with the orders of the Cauvery Water Management Authority. It points out that the authority directed a release of 10,000 cusecs per day for the next 15 days. Karnataka claims that it promptly issued directions for water release, and the water takes time to reach the interstate border.

Background of the Dispute:

The Cauvery water dispute has a long history, originating in 1974 when Karnataka started diverting water without Tamil Nadu’s consent. The dispute reached the Supreme Court after the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s decision in 2007. The Supreme Court modified this decision in 2018, specifying the water-sharing formula and allocation between the states.

Path Forward:

The counter affidavit by Karnataka adds a new dimension to the ongoing Cauvery water dispute, highlighting the challenges posed by low rainfall and water scarcity. The Supreme Court bench is set to hear the matter in the coming days, where arguments from both sides will likely be considered before any decision is reached. The dispute underscores the complexities of sharing water resources and the need for a balanced approach to address the concerns of both states involved.

Karnataka Challenges Tamil Nadu’s Request:

Karnataka’s counter affidavit challenges Tamil Nadu’s request for the release of 24,000 cusecs of Cauvery water daily for standing crops. The state argues that this plea is based on an incorrect assumption that the current water year is normal. Karnataka points out that there has been a significant rainfall deficit, leading to a distressed water year.

Rainfall Deficit and Water Availability:

Karnataka highlights that the rainfall has been 25% less than usual, resulting in reduced inflow into its reservoirs. The state contends that due to these conditions, the stipulated water release cannot be applicable this year. It asserts that the urgency claimed by Tamil Nadu to save standing crops is misleading, as the current water conditions are far from normal.

Excessive Water Usage and Carryover Storage:

Karnataka raises concerns about Tamil Nadu’s excessive water usage. The state argues that Tamil Nadu has drawn more water than prescribed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal, which breaches the water-sharing agreement. The counter affidavit also questions the usage of carryover storage and asserts that Tamil Nadu’s actions do not align with the tribunal’s final decision.

Karnataka’s Water Needs at Stake:

Karnataka highlights the dire situation it faces in terms of water availability. The affidavit emphasizes that the total water available in its reservoirs is insufficient to meet the agricultural and drinking water needs of the state. This includes the needs of important urban centers like Bangalore, which are also at risk due to the shortage of water.

Next Steps and Implications:

With the matter listed before the Supreme Court bench, both states’ arguments will be heard and evaluated. The dispute brings attention to the complexities of water-sharing arrangements and the challenges posed by changing weather patterns. The final decision will have implications for both states’ agricultural activities, water security, and overall relations.

Addressing Water Scarcity and Collaboration:

The ongoing Cauvery water dispute underscores the importance of collaborative efforts and effective water management in addressing water scarcity. As both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu grapple with water shortages, finding equitable solutions becomes crucial. The Supreme Court’s decision will play a significant role in shaping the course of action for both states and in ensuring sustainable water usage in the region.

Dispute’s Historical Context:

The Cauvery water dispute has a historical context dating back to 1974 when Karnataka began diverting water from the Cauvery river without Tamil Nadu’s consent. This sparked a series of conflicts and legal battles between the two states over water sharing. The dispute escalated further when the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT) was established in 1990 to resolve the matter and allocate water fairly between the riparian states.

Supreme Court’s Role:

The Supreme Court has played a crucial role in mediating the Cauvery water dispute over the years. The court’s interventions have aimed to strike a balance between the water needs of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu while considering the ecological and agricultural requirements of the region. The 2018 directive to Karnataka to release a specific volume of water to Tamil Nadu was a significant step in this ongoing legal battle.

Importance of Equitable Water Sharing:

The Cauvery river is a lifeline for both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, supporting agriculture, drinking water supply, and various economic activities. The dispute’s resolution is essential for maintaining harmony between the states and ensuring sustainable water management. Equitable water sharing is not only crucial for addressing immediate agricultural needs but also for fostering peaceful coexistence between the riparian states in the long run.

As the Supreme Court evaluates the arguments presented by both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in this latest development, the decision will carry far-reaching consequences for water-sharing agreements, agricultural practices, and inter-state relations. The outcome will serve as a precedent for future water disputes and underscore the importance of effective water management policies in a region where water scarcity remains a pressing concern.

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