SC refuses interim relief to TN-

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Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Amidst the controversy regarding the sharing of Cauvery water between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the TN government suffered a setback as the top court on Friday refused to grant interim relief on the state’s plea regarding the release of 24,000 cusecs of water while seeking a report from Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) on the status of discharge of water by Karnataka to Tamil Nadu.

“Authorities consist of experts. We don’t have that expertise. How can we pass an order then? We’ll seek a report from the concerned authority whether the order is being complied with or not. All of you, in unison, are saying that there is no compliance, while Mr Divan is saying that there is compliance,” said Justice BR Gavai, the presiding judge of the bench.

On being informed that the next Cauvery Water Regulation Committee’s (CWRC) meeting to decide on the release of water by Karnataka for the next fortnight is scheduled for August 28, 2023, the bench (also comprising Justices PS Narasimha and PK Mishra) directed the CWMA to submit the report by September 1, 2023. The court also recorded Karnataka’s dissatisfaction regarding CWMAs order to release 10000 cusecs water to Tamil Nadu.

“We do not possess any expertise on the matter. Apart from that, learned ASG Aishwarya Bhatti informs us that the meeting of the CWRC is to be held on Monday to consider the discharge of water for the next fortnight. It is submitted that thereafter, the matter will go to CWMA. We find that it will be appropriate that the CWMA submits its report as to whether the directions issued by it for the discharge of water has been complied with or not. The ASG is requested to communicate this order to the CWMA and obtain its report prior to next Friday,” the court said in its order.

Tamil Nadu government appearing through Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi in an attempt to urge the court to pass an order for interim relief told the court that there is a huge deficit. Rohatgi also added that the Karnataka government had failed to comply with its obligation regarding the release of allotted water to Tamil Nadu. Opposing the grant of relief, the Karnataka Government, appearing through Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, pointed out the “distress condition” that has arisen in Karnataka’s Cauvery basin due to the failure of the southwest monsoon.

Karnataka government likely to declare over 100 taluks as drought-hit

The Karnataka government is likely to declare more than 100 taluks as drought-hit in view of a severe shortage of rainfall. Agriculture Minister N Cheluvarayaswamy told reporters on Friday that a crop survey is being conducted across the state and officials have been instructed to submit a report by August 30.

By September, the government is expected to announce a list of drought-hit taluks as per the guidelines of the Centre. Around 130 taluks are facing a drought-like situation. On whether the government will go for cloud seeding, the minister said the earlier initiatives in this regard have not given positive results.

“Crops have been affected in many taluks for want of rain. Under the crop insurance scheme, over 35,000 farmers from 194 gram panchayats in Bagalkot, Gadag, Belagavi and Tumakuru will get a compensation of Rs 35.9 crore,” the minister added.

NEW DELHI: Amidst the controversy regarding the sharing of Cauvery water between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, the TN government suffered a setback as the top court on Friday refused to grant interim relief on the state’s plea regarding the release of 24,000 cusecs of water while seeking a report from Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) on the status of discharge of water by Karnataka to Tamil Nadu.

“Authorities consist of experts. We don’t have that expertise. How can we pass an order then? We’ll seek a report from the concerned authority whether the order is being complied with or not. All of you, in unison, are saying that there is no compliance, while Mr Divan is saying that there is compliance,” said Justice BR Gavai, the presiding judge of the bench.

On being informed that the next Cauvery Water Regulation Committee’s (CWRC) meeting to decide on the release of water by Karnataka for the next fortnight is scheduled for August 28, 2023, the bench (also comprising Justices PS Narasimha and PK Mishra) directed the CWMA to submit the report by September 1, 2023. The court also recorded Karnataka’s dissatisfaction regarding CWMAs order to release 10000 cusecs water to Tamil Nadu.googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-8052921-2’); });

“We do not possess any expertise on the matter. Apart from that, learned ASG Aishwarya Bhatti informs us that the meeting of the CWRC is to be held on Monday to consider the discharge of water for the next fortnight. It is submitted that thereafter, the matter will go to CWMA. We find that it will be appropriate that the CWMA submits its report as to whether the directions issued by it for the discharge of water has been complied with or not. The ASG is requested to communicate this order to the CWMA and obtain its report prior to next Friday,” the court said in its order.

Tamil Nadu government appearing through Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi in an attempt to urge the court to pass an order for interim relief told the court that there is a huge deficit. Rohatgi also added that the Karnataka government had failed to comply with its obligation regarding the release of allotted water to Tamil Nadu. Opposing the grant of relief, the Karnataka Government, appearing through Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, pointed out the “distress condition” that has arisen in Karnataka’s Cauvery basin due to the failure of the southwest monsoon.

Karnataka government likely to declare over 100 taluks as drought-hit

The Karnataka government is likely to declare more than 100 taluks as drought-hit in view of a severe shortage of rainfall. Agriculture Minister N Cheluvarayaswamy told reporters on Friday that a crop survey is being conducted across the state and officials have been instructed to submit a report by August 30.

By September, the government is expected to announce a list of drought-hit taluks as per the guidelines of the Centre. Around 130 taluks are facing a drought-like situation. On whether the government will go for cloud seeding, the minister said the earlier initiatives in this regard have not given positive results.

“Crops have been affected in many taluks for want of rain. Under the crop insurance scheme, over 35,000 farmers from 194 gram panchayats in Bagalkot, Gadag, Belagavi and Tumakuru will get a compensation of Rs 35.9 crore,” the minister added.

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