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Supreme Court Upholds Release of Water from North Maharashtra Dams to Jayakwadi

Big Decision Addresses Marathwada Water Crisis

November 21, 2023: In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court has upheld the release of water from North Maharashtra’s dams to Jayakwadi, addressing the severe water crisis in Marathwada. The verdict supports the earlier decision of the High Court, enforcing the release of 8.5 TMC (Thousand Million Cubic) of water into the Jayakwadi Dam.

An intervention petition had challenged the High Court’s ruling, leading the matter to the Supreme Court. The apex court, after careful consideration, has affirmed the necessity of releasing water into Jayakwadi, as mandated by the Equitable Water Distribution Act.

The Godavari Marathwada Irrigation Development Corporation, responsible for the decision, highlighted that the Jayakwadi Dam currently holds only 47 percent of its water storage, while neighboring Nagar-Nashik districts boast 79 to 88 percent water storage. Executive Director Santosh Tirmanwar emphasized the obligation to release water to Jayakwadi, a decision reinforced during a review meeting on October 15.

The controversy had initially arisen in Nashik district, where Sanjay Pundlik Tungar, president of Rajabhau Tungar Sahakari Upsa Irrigation Sansthan, filed a public interest litigation in the Bombay High Court seeking the cancellation of the order. However, the court did not adjourn the decision.

In response, two sugar mills in Kopargaon and Loni filed special permission petitions in the Supreme Court, seeking a stay and directions against the order. Despite these efforts, the Supreme Court has ultimately upheld the decision of the Bombay High Court, solidifying the imperative to release water into Jayakwadi.

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