SC to constitute bench to hear Cauvery river water sharing dispute

The Supreme Court said on Monday it will constitute a bench to hear the decades-old dispute between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka over sharing Cauvery river water.

The matter was mentioned by the counsel representing Tamil Nadu for urgent listing before a bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Tamil Nadu, said an application has been filed by the state seeking release of water for the month of August which has been ordered by the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA).

Rohatgi told the apex court that a bench will have to be constituted to hear the matter.

“Today, I will constitute a bench,” the CJI said.

On August 11, Tamil Nadu had said it had no other option but to approach the apex court to get its genuine share of Cauvery water.

It had contended that in a change of stand, Karnataka was prepared to release only a reduced quantum of 8,000 cusecs (cubic foot per second) every day.

Referring to the deliberations of the Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) in the national capital in August, Tamil Nadu Water Resources Minister Duraimurugan had said the requirement for Cauvery water was emphatically put forth by state officials during the discussions.

“However, Karnataka as usual changed its stand and categorically said that it could only release 8,000 cusecs and that too only till August 22,” he had said.

The minister had said it was unanimously decided at a meeting of the Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee on August 10 that 15,000 cusecs per day would be released by Karnataka to Tamil Nadu for 15 days.

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“Hence, the Tamil Nadu government has no other option but to approach the Supreme Court. Soon, a case will be filed in the apex court. Justice will win and we will get water and Chief Minister M K Stalin-led government is determined to get water,” he had said.

The combined storage capacity of the four dams in Karnataka is 114.571 tmc ft (thousand million cubic feet) of water and it has 93.535 tmc storage, which is about 82 per cent, the minister had said.

Duraimurugan had alleged Karnataka does not ‘have a heart’ to share water with Tamil Nadu though it had enough water.

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