New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain the fresh application from Tamil Nadu to direct Karnataka to release 63 tmcft of water being the deficit quantity upto November 15 this year pending final verdict. When counsel Shekar Naphade along with G. Umapthy made a mention before a Bench of Chief justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Kanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud about the urgency of the court passing an order, the CJI told the counsel that as they are in the process of writing the judgment further applications cannot be entertained. A similar plea was rejected on November 21.
In its application, Tamil Nadu sought urgent directions to Karnataka to forthwith make good the cumulative shortfall of 62.881 TMC ft. as on Nov. 15, 2017 during the current Normal water year 2017-2018, as per the Final Order dated Feb. 5, 2007 passed by the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal. The State said that it realised at Billigundulu only 100.669 TMC ft. as against 163.500 TMC ft., leaving a cumulative shortfall of 63 TMC ft. as on 15.11.2017. It is evident that Karnataka failed to release water to TN as per monthly schedule fixed by the Tribunal, which has affected the agricultural operations in the State. The Mettur Dam could not be thrown open for irrigation on the scheduled date of 12th June and water could not be provided for Kuruvai and for commencing Samba cultivation in time. It said the Mettur Dam was opened for irrigation only on Oct. 2, 2017 and thus cultivation operation commenced belatedly after about 3 months. Consequently, the irrigation period is to be extended beyond Jan. 31 2018.
The storage at Mettur Dam is 46.016 TMC ft. as on Nov. 15, 2017, which is grossly inadequate to sustain Samba and Thaladi cultivation in about 15 lakh acres, spread over in the systems depending on Mettur in Cauvery Basin of TN. It said the livelihood of more than 40 lakhs population would be seriously affected if the agricultural operations are not able to be sustained by providing irrigation upto February, 2018 as the agricultural operations commenced only in October, 2017 during the current year. A large extent of Samba crop planted after the opening of Mettur Dam on Oct. 2, 2017 was damaged due to heavy rains on account of cyclonic depression in late October 2017.
In these areas, seedlings are to be planted again and the areas are also to be provided irrigation upto February 2018. As the rainfall has been near normal, Karnataka is duty bound to ensure the flows at Billigundulu as per the Final Order of the Tribunal. As Karnataka is having a combined storage of about 73.579 TMC ft. in the four reservoirs, as on Oct. 19, 2017, it should be directed to release the deficit quantity to TN, the application said....