Rs 48.44 crore. That is the amount both Karnataka [ Images ] and Tamil Nadu have spent over the Cauvery river. If you wonder that amount is allocated to irrigation works, then you got it wrong.
The mind-boggling figure -- obtained through the Right to Information Act -- is spent in the legal battle seeking rights over the river before the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in New Delhi [ Images ].
While Tamil Nadu spent Rs 25 crore, Karnataka coughed up Rs 23.44 crore towards lawyers' fees. In Karnataka, the information was obtained by Krishna Joshi, the founder president of the Puraskara Forum through RTI while in Tamil Nadu, D T Naidu, an educationist, got the figures.
The Cauvery Water Case has been fought in the tribunal for the last 15 years and both the governments have formed a panel of advocates to defend the respective states. In Karnataka, the legal panel was headed by senior counsel Fali S Nariman while the Tamil Nadu team was headed by top lawyer C S Vaidyanathan.
Both Joshi and Naidu said that all information that has been sought by them was not revealed. While Joshi said that the consultation fees paid to the advocate general was not made available, Naidu said that he was yet to receive information regarding the cumulative expenses of the visit, stay of advocates and other miscellaneous expenses.
Naidu said the government had informed him that advocates' fees and hotel expenses were met from the overall budget provision of the Public Works Department. The rest of the amount included trips made by officers to attend the hearing in New Delhi. For each hearing, at least 10 PWD officers went to Delhi.
Naidu said that it was sad that the government spent so much money on lawyers when people living in the Cauvery delta did not have a proper square meal a day.
Karnataka Home Minister M P Prakash, who said the state had incurred a huge expenditure during the Cauvery litigation, however, refused to comment.
What they got so far:
Senior counsel Anil Divan tops the list with Rs 9.66 crore and Fali S Nariman Rs 2.08 crore. Divan, according to the information, made 46 trips to Bangalore from New Delhi, while Nariman made 19 trips. Advocate Mohan Katarki made 193 trips to Bangalore from New Delhi was paid Rs 2.75 crore. S S Javali visited Bangalore 158 times and was paid Rs 3.77 crore while Shambu Prasad Singh, who made 138 visits, was paid Rs 2.41 crore.
Other advocates' fees:
Brijesh Kalappa: Rs. 31.42 lakh
S C Sharma: Rs. 25.87 lakh
Syed Naqvi: Rs. 19.60 lakh
Y S Chitale: Rs. 18.93 lakh
Atul Y Chitale: Rs. 2.61 lakh
T R Andhyarujina: Rs. 12.06 lakh
Deepak M. Nargolkar: Rs. 2.27 lakh
M Veerappa: Rs. 1.16 lakh
S R Hegde: Rs. 12.95 lakh
Ranvir Singh:Rs. 11.66 lakh
Padmanabha Mahale: Rs. 58,700
Nanjappa Ganapathy: Rs. 45,000
Ashok Mathur Rs. 3,000
Besides, Karnataka also paid 10 advocate generals Rs 1.34 crore in professional fees between 1990 and 2007.
AN Jayram: Rs 76.05 lakh.
S.Vijayashankar: Rs. 27.03 lakh
B V Acharya: Rs 8.8 lakh
B T Parthasarathy: Rs 8.55 lakh
P P Muthanna: Rs 3.08 lakh
M R Janardhan: Rs 5.82 lakh
Shivappa: Rs 2.66 lakh
Uday Holla: Rs 1 lakh.
C S Vaidyanathan: Rs 6.7 crore
A K Ganguly: Rs 4.8 crore
C Paramasivam: Rs 2.64 crore
G Umapathy: Rs 2.54 crore
V Krishnamurthy: Rs 1.39 crore
R Muthukumarasamy: Rs 1.3 crore
K Parasaran: Rs 91.69 lakh