In partial relief for the Karnataka government, the Supreme Court modified its earlier order asking for the release of 15,000 cusecs Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu and directed the state government to release 12,000 cusecs on a daily basis till 20 September.
Supreme Court also rejected Karnataka’s demand to keep in abeyance its 5 September order for releasing water to Tamil Nadu.
Referring to the content of Karnataka’s fresh plea, the bench said, “If we are allowed to say then we must say that the tone and tenor of the application is absolutely disturbing and to say the least, totally depreciable… that apart the application for modification contain certain averment which follow the tenor or similar language which cannot be conceived of in a court of law seeking modification of an order.”
“Agitation, spontaneity or galvanised riot or any kind of catalyst component can never form the foundation for seeking modification of an order…
“An order of this court has to be complied by all the concerned and it is the obligation of the executive to ensure that the orders are complied in letter and spirit.
During the hearing, the bench noted the stiff claim and counter-claims of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and said that it would apply the concept of fair compensation in the matter and
fixed it for further hearing on 20 September.
According to NDTV, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will be writing to his Tamil Nadu counterpart Jayalalithaa over the SC’s modified order.
The Supreme Court’s decision to hear the plea, filed late Sunday evening, came after it was mentioned before the court’s registry, which consulted Chief Justice TS Thakur.
The apex court was hearing the application filed by Karnataka seeking a direction to reduce the quantum of water to be released from Cauvery River to Tamil Nadu from 15,000 cusecs to 1,000 cusecs.
In an interim order on 5 September, the court had directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu for the next 10 days to ameliorate the plight of the farmers there.
Karnataka’s decision to move the Supreme Court came ahead of the Cauvery Supervisory Committee’s meeting to decide on the quantum of the river’s water to be released to Tamil Nadu and other states.
The application had sought that instead of 10 days, the apex court should restrict the release of water to only 6 as the state itself was facing a distress situation due to a massive agitation which was causing a loss of Rs 500 crore per day to Karnataka.
In the plea, Karnataka had said there was “huge public pressure” and the state police, with great difficulty, have been able to prevent attempts to damage public property.
“Even the minimum arrangement mentioned by your lordships has caused distress and havoc in the entire southern part of Karnataka, paralysing civil life. The agitation of farmers has been that their dry crop is equalled with that of the farmers in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu’s need for the rice crop consumes more than twice the water which is needed for light crops in Karnataka,” the application said.
The application said that people, particularly farmers in the districts of Mysuru, Hassan, Mandya and Bengaluru, have been squatting on the roads and streets, affecting the IT industry in the state capital which earns huge revenue by way of income tax, service tax, and foreign exchange of $60 billion for the country.
The application also referred to inputs from security agencies that said if the flow of water is allowed to continue further, the situation “may go out of hand”.