Karnataka releases Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu amid protests

BENGALURU,Sept7: Amid protests in several parts by farmers, Karnataka has started releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu to abide by the Supreme court directive.

The Karnataka government on Tuesday decided to release 15,000 cuses of water per day to Tamil Nadu for 10 days.

After a three hour meeting with Union ministers from Karnataka, MPs and floor leaders of political parties in the legislature, chief minister Siddaramaiah told reporters: “As we cannot defy a constitutional body like the Supreme court, with a heavy heart we have decided to release the water as directed by the apex court.”

Meanwhile, the protesters have intensified their agitation in Mandya+ and other parts of the state blocking several roads and forcing schools and colleges to shut down.

Simultaneously, the state government also intends to approach the Cauvery Supervisory Committee and try to convince them of their shortage in water levels and also file a petition in the court seeking modification of the directive of releasing 15,000 cusecs every day for 10 days.

“In 2012-13, when Jagadish Shettar was the CM, the state had released water up to 10,000 cusecs as a good will gesture. This time also, we had sought to release 10,000 cusecs of water but the court did not approve. We will try to impress upon the court to modify its order and reduce the water to be released to TN, considering the distress and severity of water shortage in the state,” the CM said on Tuesday.

The decision to file the modification appeal was taken after advice from former CM and Chikkaballapur MP Veerappa Moily. However, insiders in the government said Karnataka is not pinning its hope on the modification petition.

According to one minister, the plan is to wait for the final hearing on the original petition filed by Karnataka, disputing the Cauvery Tribunal Authority verdict on the quantum of water to be released to TN. The final hearing is coming up on October 18.

Further, the government is also pinning its hope on “good rains” to befall the state by the end of September.

The apex court on Monday, directed the Karnataka government to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu for the next 10 days to ameliorate the plight of farmers. Noting that the samba crops in Tamil Nadu would be adversely affected, the bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit directed Karnataka to ensure supply of water to Tamil Nadu.

 The apex court also directed Tamil Nadu to approach the supervisory committee within three days for the release of Cauvery water as per the final order of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal’s (CWDT). “We think it’s appropriate to direct Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water per day for ten days,” the Bench said, while also directing Tamil Nadu to release water to Puducherry appropriately as per its interim arrangement.
Meanwhile, revenue department officials claim Karnataka will be left with only 15 tmc ft of water available for the next 12 months from the two dams of Krishnarajasagar (KRS) and Harangi dams in the Cauvery basin, after abiding by the court’s decision.

With four reservoirs in the Cauvery basin, not having enough water revenue department sources paint a grim picture on the water situation in the six to seven districts of Chamrajnagar, Mysuru, Mandya, Hassan, Ramangaram, Bangalore urban and rural which are solely dependent on the Cauvery.

Top