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The Supreme Court Friday advised the Tamil Nadu and Karnataka governments to “live and let live” as the states traded charges in the courtroom over the release of Cauvery water. “Tamil Nadu’s situation is ‘water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink’. Some steps have to be taken by Karnataka so that the other State (Tamil Nadu) can exist as an entity. The principle of ‘live and let live’ has to be applied to this dispute,” a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Uday U Lalit said.
The court’s observation came when Tamil Nadu claimed that the Karnataka Chief Minister has said that not a drop of water will be released to it. Senior lawyer Fali S Nariman, appearing for Karnataka, said there were rain-deficit months in the recent past and it was difficult to release water to Tamil Nadu. He said the Tribunal has not provided for an alternative for Karnataka on the point of release of water during distress months.
In a recent plea, Tamil Nadu had sought a direction to Karnataka to release 50.52 tmc feet of Cauvery water to save 40,000 acres of samba crops this season. In reply, Karnataka has said it has a deficit of about 80 tmc feet in its four reservoirs.
Stressing that the states have to live in harmony, the court, which would hear the matter in detail on September 5, said: “We cannot assume what will be the rainfall… but if there is a formula in the Tribunal award, Karnataka is bound by it.”