The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked Karnataka to continue supplying 2,000 cusecs of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu everyday till further orders.
While continuing with its October 4 order, the bench of justice Dipak Misra, justice Amitava Roy and justice AM Khanwilkar said it would be incumbent upon the governments of both states to maintain peace and harmony.
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People should not become law unto themselves, the bench said.
A newly appointed Supreme Court bench was set up to hear all issues arising from the Cauvery water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
In its report, the committee has stated 42 of the 48 talukas of Karnataka in the Cauvery basin have been affected by drought. The team was constituted as per orders of the apex court to assess the realities in the Cauvery basin areas in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
“Karnataka’s Mandya district is worst affected and has witnessed many suicides. No water in Tamil Nadu for cattle also. Standing crops in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are affected due to scarcity of water. Sugarcane farming in both states needs to be discouraged,” the report added.
The high-level central technical team had inspected the Krishnaraja Sagar and the Kabini dams in Karnataka, as also the Mettur and Bhavani Sagar dams in Tamil Nadu.
The GS Jha-led Supreme Court appointed team also interacted with public works department officials and delta farmers in Thanjavur, Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur districts.
The farmers in Tiruchirapalli and delta regions told the team that the samba crop will be damaged if water from the Cauvery is not released by Karnataka.
On Monday, the delta farmers in Tamil Nadu resorted to rail roko agitation and urged the government to set up a Cauvery Management Board.
The apex court had earlier ordered the release of 2,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu from October 7 to 18, after Karnataka refused, citing monsoon failure and depleted reservoirs.
When the apex court ordered Karnataka to release water last month, it triggered riots in Bengaluru, with Kannadigas attacking Tamils and their property.
The court had on September 30 asked Karnataka to discharge 6,000 cusecs from October 1 to 6. The directive came with a warning that no one would know when the “wrath of the law ” would fall on it.
As the century old dispute over sharing the river’s water simmered, the Centre did a volte face and opposed an SC order to set up a Cauvery Water Management Board, which would be an all-encompassing authority to instruct or suggest measures and settle disputes.