The Tamil Nadu government moved the Supreme Court on Wednesday, accusing the Karnataka government of not providing it its due share of 22.5 thousand million cubic ft, or TMC, of Cauvery water despite being obligated to do so.
Tamil Nadu said Karnataka had released only 16.58 TMC of Cauvery water in the last 25 days, which is a substantial shortfall. The top court has agreed to hear Tamil Nadu’s plea.
The Tamil Nadu government also asked the Centre not to grant any clearance to projects taken up in the Cauvery basin until all issues relating to the sharing of river waters were settled, PTI reported. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edapaddi Palaniswami objected to Karnataka’s planning a reservoir at Mekedatu, along the Cauvery basin. Tamil Nadu said Karnataka had not obtained permission from them for the Mekedatu project and had sent a detailed report on it to the Central Water Commission seeking clearance. This was in violation of the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal.
Palaniswami has requested Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti not to approve any such proposals. “I request you to kindly issue instructions to the officials concerned not to accord techno-economic clearance to Mekedatu or any project in the Cauvery basin till the concurrence of all the co-basin states is obtained,” Palaniswami said in a letter to the Bharti. “The ministries concerned may be requested not to give any forest, environment clearances to the Mekedatu project or any other project in the Cauvery Basin of Karnataka till all the issues on the Cauvery water dispute are finally settled.”
Palaniswami said he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 25, 2017, when the Karnataka government had planned to construct a reservoir at Mekedatu.
On July 3, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had rejected the charge by Tamil Nadu political parties. Final hearing of the appeals will be held in the Supreme Court on July 11.
The Cauvery water dispute
On October 18, 2016, the apex court had directed Karnataka to release 2,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu till further orders. In March, the Supreme Court had directed Karnataka to continue to release 2,000 cusecs of Cauvery water a day to Tamil Nadu. Karnataka, however, had informed the apex court that it was not in a position to follow the order.
Last year, the Cauvery water dispute led to protests and subsequent violence in both states. The water-sharing row had snowballed into a massive problem after the Supreme Court, on September 5, directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu. It had 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.