The Supreme Court on Friday ruled that Karnataka would get additional 14.75 tmcft water from the Cauvery river and would provide 177.2 tmcft water to Tamil Nadu instead of the 192 tmcft water it gave earlier. The top court said that increase in the share of Cauvery water for Karnataka was done in view of the increased demand of drinking water by Bengaluru and also for many industrial activities.
But how much water will Bengaluru receive post the verdict? The verdict by the apex court paves way for additional 4.75 tmcft water for the Karnataka capital. As of now, Bengaluru has been receiving 18.25 tmcft water on the basis of the previous water sharing norm, but with the SC verdict in place, it is slated to now receive 23 tmcft.
However, this is still short of the demand of Karnataka for Bengaluru. For the state capital, they had demanded 30 tmcft water.
The Supreme Court also made a reference to the “global status” of Bengaluru in its order. It said, “Keeping in mind the global status that the city has attained, an addition of 4.75 TMC is awarded to Karnataka.” Talking about the verdict of Tribunal on Cauvery water sharing, the top court said that it was “unsustainable” over the specifications on drinking water for Bengaluru.
Meanwhile, according to the top court 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 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".