With talks between Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka failing to break the deadlock on the Cauvery water-sharing row, the Supreme Court today decided to hear both the states on Monday and asked them to place before it the undisputabale documents on the issue.
"We request counsel for both states to file small compilation of all documents on which counsel for both sides wish to rely," a bench comprising justices D K Jain and Madan B Lokur said asking them to file the compilation by tomorrow.
"We will confine the hearing to those documents," it said.
At the outset, Tamil Nadu's counsel and senior advocate C S Vaidyanathan, said that no progress was made following the yesterday's meeting between Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa and her Karnataka counterpart Jagdish Shettar.
He said there was an attempt on the part of Karnataka to delay and defeat the purpose of Tamil Nadu and the crops in the state for this season are going to wither and die due to shortage of water.
The counsel said one TMC of water is being depleted by Karnataka every day when the state was facing the deficit of 39 TMC of water and it is the apex court which has been the only saviour for Tamil Nadu since 1983.
During the hearing, Tamil Nadu told the bench that it required at least 30 TMC of water for 14 days from December 1 to 15 while Karnataka's counsel and senior advocate Anil Divan said there was a need of 78 TMC of water for the state for the same period.
He said Karnataka has the storage facility of only 70 TMC and 8 TMC less than the required.
Tamil Nadu Government said shortage of water has led to the suicide of farmers in the state and some solution was urgently needed.
During the last hearing on November 26, the court had asked the chief ministers of the two states to meet and arrive at an amicable solution to the "sensitive" Cauvery water dispute.
"We want you to meet in a congenial manner and discuss the issue in the larger interest of farmers from both states," it had said.
The court had said that it is not always possible for the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) headed by the Prime Minister to meet, so the state governments should meet to find a solution.
During the hearing today, the court at one stage said since the dialogue between the Chief Ministers have failed, CRA must intervene now.
Talks between Shettar and Jayalalithaa in Bangalore yesterday had failed to achieve any breakthrough with both sides sticking to their stands.
The less-than-an-hour meeting appeared to widen the wedge between the two States, taking the case back to the apex court.
Jayalalithaa pushed for release of a "bare minimum" of 30 TMC ft of water in the next 15 days to "save the standing samba (long term) crops" but Karnataka made it clear that it's not at all in a position to do so.
"...there is distress in Karnataka. We are not in a position to release water", Shettar had told reporters.