New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday delivered the long-awaited Cauvery water sharing verdict. The apex court announced that Tamil Nadu would get 1..25 tmc ft water, and Karnataka would get 14.75 tmc ft more than it was allocated in the previous judgement. Karnataka’s allocation now stands at 284.75 tmc ft.
Tamil Nadu’s share of water has been reduced to 177.25 tmc ft from 192 tmc ft. The SC added that 20 tmc ft of groundwater in Tamil Nadu had not been accounted for.
The Supreme Court also said that Karnataka can expand its irrigation area. Bengaluru will receive 14.75 tmc ft more.
Tamil Nadu will now get 404.25 tmcft of Cauvery water instead of 419 tmcft allotted by 2007 tribunal and the award of 30 tmcft to Kerala and 7 tmcft to Puducherry will remain unchanged, the top court said.
”No deviance shall be shown by any state,” the Supreme Court said while delivering the Cauvery verdict.
The verdict was delivered by the three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Amitava Roy and AM Khanwilkar.
The apex court ruling has been widely welcomed by politicians and activists from Karnataka, however, the leading political parties in Tamil Nadu, including DMK and the AIADMK, have termed it as a ”shocker” and ”extremely disappointing”.
In his first reaction to the development, Mohan V Katarki, counsel for the state of Karnataka, said, ”We are very happy with the verdict. It is a balance verdict which protects the interest of both the states. This is a good judgement which will go long way in ensuring peace in both the states.”
Security was beefed up in both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu ahead of the Supreme Court verdict in the Cauvery water dispute case.
The states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala had challenged the 2007 order of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal (CWDT) on sharing of Cauvery water. The three states had sought modification of Cauvery Tribunal’s final order. The bench had reserved its order on the matter on September 20, 2017.
The state governments in Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and Puducherry had filed petitions seeking modification of Cauvery Tribunal’s final order. The verdict holds significance since sharing the Cauvery water is an emotive as well existential issue for thousands of families dependent on the river that flows between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
The 120-year-old Cauvery water dispute was earlier decided unanimously by CWDT in 2007, after determining the total availability of water in the Cauvery basin at 740 thousand million cubic (tmc) feet at the Lower Coleroon Anicut site, including 14 tmcft for environmental protection.