Karnataka has moved the Supreme Court for urgent hearing on its plea seeking a direction to restrict the quantum of water to be released from River Cauvery to Tamil Nadu, from 15,000 cusecs to 1,000 cusecs.
The application filed late Saturday evening has also sought modification of the apex court’s September 5 order in which it directed release of 15,000 cusecs of water for 10 days as an immediate relief to Tamil Nadu farmers.
Karnataka’s decision to move the Supreme Court comes even as the Cauvery Supervisory Committee is meeting in New Delhi on Monday to decide on the quantum of the river’s water to be released to Tamil Nadu and other states.
The application has sought that instead of 10 days, the apex court should restrict the flow of water only for 6 days as the state itself was facing distress situation in view of massive agitation and loss of Rs 500 crore per day.
When contacted, advocate V N Raghupathy said, “We are trying to get the matter listed for an urgent hearing.”
The early listing of the matter is important as the courts are closed for the next 2 days on account of holiday.
In the application, Karnataka has stated that there has been 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 has stated 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 Bengaluru which earns revenue as income tax, service tax, and foreign exchange of USD 60 billion to the country.
The application has 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.
The application is likely to be placed before Chief Justice T S Thakur, who is likely to take a call on it and if it all an urgent hearing is required, it will be assigned before a bench, which on September 5 had passed some interim directions.
In an interim order on September 5, the court directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu for the next 10 days to ameliorate plight of the farmers there.
The apex court also directed Tamil Nadu to approach the Supervisory Committee, set up to implement award of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT), within three days for the release of Cauvery water as per the final order of the Tribunal.