The Supreme Court has asked the Karnataka government to release 12,000 cusecs of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu every day till 20 September. Earlier, it had asked to release 15,000 cusecs of water.

A bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit on Monday gave the direction while modifying its 5 September order by which it had asked Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water every day for the next ten days. It also rejected Karnataka’s plea to keep the 5 September order in abeyance.

Noting that the meeting of the Cauvery supervisory committee which would examine Tamil Nadu’s plea for the release of 35 TMC of Cauvery water is commencing on Monday and would take time to complete its job, the court directed the next hearing of the matter on 20 September.

Monday’s order came after a special hearing on Karnataka’s application seeking that the 5 September order be kept in abeyance contending that as while 15,000 cusecs of water was released every day to Tamil Nadu, but it was utilising just 1,250 cusecs.

Karnataka said that while water storage in its Krishna Raja Sagara Dam was depleting, the storage level in Mettur reservoir in Tamil Nadu was increasing.

Taking exception to Karnataka citing law and order situation as a ground for seeking suspension of the 5 September order, the court said it was the obligation of Karnataka government “to maintain law and order and see that order is complied with in letter and spirit”.

At the outset of the hearing, Justice Misra told senior counsel Fali Nariman, appearing for Karnataka, that the ground of law and order raised by Karnataka could not call for an urgent hearing or for seeking modification of order.

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