Cauvery water: SC to hear Karnataka’s plea tomorrow

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today agreed to conduct an early hearing tomorrow on the application filed by Karnataka seeking a direction to reduce the quantum of water to be released from Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu from 15,000 cusecs to 1,000 cusecs.

The Supreme Court’s decision to hear the plea, filed late last evening, came after it was mentioned before the court’s registry, which consulted Chief Justice T S Thakur.

In its plea, Karnataka has sought modification of the apex court’s September 5 order for release of 15,000 cusecs of water for 10 days as immediate relief to Tamil Nadu farmers.

Karnataka’s advocate V N Raghupathy said that the matter was mentioned before the registry today and it would be heard tomorrow at 10.30 am. Tomorrow being a holiday, the bench will sit only to hear the matter.

Karnataka’s decision to move the Supreme Court comes ahead of the Cauvery Supervisory Committee’s meeting here tomorrow 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 release of water to only 6 as the state itself was facing a distress situation due to a massive agitation which was causing a loss of Rs 500 crore per day to Karnataka.

In the plea, Karnataka has said there was “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.