The Supreme Court on Tuesday told Karnataka to continue releasing 2,000 cusecs of Cauvery water a day to Tamil Nadu. The bench ordered a status quo in the situation till a verdict is reached about the pleas filed against the Cauvery River Water Tribunal award in the dispute, reported Deccan Chronicle. The court will start the final hearing in the case on July 11.
However, Karnataka informed the court that they were not in a position to follow the order. Senior lawyer Fali Nariman, who is representing the state in the case, said that there was not enough water in the state for it to share with Tamil Nadu. He told the court that the state did not even have enough water to meet drinking needs of its own people. “Let the order remain in force, but we will not be able to implement it,” Nariman said. “We will argue the main matter.”
The bench also ordered Kerala to give in writing to Tamil Nadu that it would not use water more than what was allocated to it by the Cauvery River Water Tribunal. The state will have to submit the undertaking within 15 days. The dispute might take an uglier turn in the coming months with the summers just about beginning in the country. Scarcity of water may make negotiations even harder and a consensus far more elusive.
In 2016, the Cauvery water dispute led to protests and subsequent violence in both states. The dispute snowballed into a big issue after the Supreme Court, on September 5, directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu. It later modified its verdict and reduced the quantity to 12,000 cusecs, but the order led to widespread protests by farmers in Karnataka, who argued that the state needed the water more than its neighbour. While Karnataka had earlier defied Supreme Court orders and decided against releasing water to Tamil Nadu, it released 6,000 cusecs of water to the neighbouring state late on October 3.