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SC gives more water to Karnataka, Tamil Nadu calls it a setback

Bengaluru: In a big relief to Karnataka, the three-judge bench of the Supreme Court said that it will get an additional 14.75 tmcft water from the Cauvery river. In an attempt to amicably resolve the decades-old dispute over sharing of the river water, the SC ordered Karnataka to provide 177.2 tmcft water to Tamil Nadu instead of the 192 tmcft water it gave away earlier.
The apex court verdict implies that Karnataka will now get an additional 14.75 tmcft as compared to the previous 2007 order. ”Karnataka will now release 177.25 tmcft of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from its inter-state Biligundlu dam,” the apex court said in its order.
Tamil Nadu will now get 404.25 tmcft of Cauvery water instead of 419 tmcft allotted by 2007 tribunal and the award of 30 tmcft to Kerala and 7 tmcft to Puducherry will remain unchanged, the top court said.
”No deviance shall be shown by any state,” the Supreme Court said while delivering the Cauvery verdict.
The top court also made it clear that increase in the share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft has been done keeping in view the fact that there is an increased demand of drinking water by Bengaluru and also for many industrial activities.
The top court further ruled that the 20 TMC of groundwater in Tamil Nadu had not been accounted for and needed to be seen. However, it allowed Tamil Nadu to draw additional 10 tmcft ‘groundwater’ from total of 20 tmcft beneath Cauvery basin.
The verdict was delivered by the three-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Amitava Roy and AM Khanwilkar.
The apex court ruling has been widely welcomed by politicians and activists from Karnataka, however, the leading political parties in Tamil Nadu, including DMK and the AIADMK, have termed it as a ”shocker” and ”extremely disappointing”.
In his first reaction to the development, Mohan V Katarki, counsel for the state of Karnataka, said, ”We are very happy with the verdict. It is a balance verdict which protects the interest of both the states. This is a good judgement which will go long way in ensuring peace in both the states.”
”Will react in detail after reading the judgement but prima facie we welcome it,” Jagadish Shettar, former CM of Karnataka, said while reacting to the ruling.