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SC to Karnataka: Release 2.44 TMC water to Tamil Nadu

New Delhi, Feb 7 (PTI): The Supreme Court on Thursday directed Karnataka to release 2.44 thousand million cubic feet water from the Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu, which had asked for 12 TMC water.

A bench headed by Justice R M Lodha, which had on Monday allowed release of 2 TMC water, increased by 0.44 TMC the amount of water to be provided to Tamil Nadu on the recommendation of the Central Water Commission (CWC).

Other members of the bench are justices J Chelameswar and Madan B Lokur.

The court passed the order after going through the report submitted by an expert committee of CWC which said that only 10 per cent of cultivated land in Tamil Nadu needs water.

The committee said that 50 per cent of the arable land has already been cultivated and 40 per cent is on the verge of being cultivated and only the remaining 10 per cent requires water.

”Having heard the parties and taking consideration of the expert committee report, we are satisfied that the interest of justice would be met if Karnataka is directed to release 2.44 TMC of water,” the bench said.

On February 4, the apex court had directed Karnataka to release 2 TMC of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu and had asked the CWC to file report on the water requirement of the two warring states.

The court had also asked the CWC to form a three-member expert body, which will visit the states and directed it to file a report within two days.

Last month, the Cauvery Monitoring Committee had said that since current storage level in Karnataka was sufficient only to meet the state's drinking water requirements, it was not in a position to release water to Tamil Nadu.

Earlier, on December 5 2012, the Supreme Court had directed Karnataka to release 10,000 cusecs of Cauvery water daily to its neighbouring state and asked the CMC to hold a meeting to decide the amount of water required by each state.

The committee had then directed Karnataka to provide Tamil Nadu with 12 TMC of Cauvery water during December and did not pass any order for the month of January as the Centre had assured the apex court that it would notify the tribunal's award by December 31.