Bengaluru: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed Karnataka to release 2,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu from October 7 to 18. The apex court had ordered the state to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day. The hearing of the case is adjourned to October 18.
The Supreme Court had also agreed to set up a technical committee, headed by Hussain Masood. He replaces Shashisekharan. The committee has to submit a report to the apex court on the ground realities in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu by October 17.
The court also put on hold the setting up of Cauvery Management Board, saying the issue would be taken up on October 18. The direction came after Additional solicitor general Pinky Anand, who was representing the Centre, said, “Cauvery Management Board can’t be set up like this. It has to go to Parliament. We have to go by law.”
Deputy Speaker of Lok Sabha Tambi Durai had submitted a memorandum accusing the Centre of joining hands with Karnataka on opposing the setting up of the Cauvery Management Board.
Till Monday, Karnataka had refused to comply with instructions issued last week by the top court to share 6,000 cusecs of water for six consecutive days. Last night, the government changed that after claiming that recent rain meant it could afford to share.
Its sudden change of heart came after the Supreme Court made it clear that it would brook no further dissent.
Early in September, the top court agreed with Tamil Nadu’s request for a larger portion of water from the River Cauvery which originates in Karnataka and flows across the border. The Karnataka government reluctantly followed the decree; riots quickly erupted including in the state capital of Bengaluru where two people died.
Property worth crores was lost in the violent demonstrations, and the border between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka turned into a volatile zone, with bus services suspended and factories in neighbouring areas closed.
When the Supreme Court issued another order asking for more water to be provided to Tamil Nadu, Karnataka refused, claiming that its own four reservoirs were running low and that major metros were receiving barely enough water.
CM thanks all
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has expressed his gratitude for all those who fought for the state. “All political parties in the state came together in the hour of distress. We held two special sessions of legislature in 10 days. We took the decision to release water agriculture during the special session of the legislature on Monday. All 600 villages under Cauvery basin and Bengaluru will get drinking water. We release water for irrigation in the interest of state,’’ the chief minister said.
It is inevitable: Deve Gowda
Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda said the state has to follow the Supreme Court order to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. “We can’t speak against Supreme Court, there is no other way than implementing the court order. I congratulate Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi for the role he has played,’’ Deve Gowda said.