Supreme Court’s Monday direction asking Karnataka Government to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day for the next 10 days attracted massive opposition from Karnataka farmers.
Mandya district, a strategic location of major roadways, is badly hit by the bandh call given by Cauvery Horata Samiti to pressurise Karnataka government to keep water with Karnataka and not release it to Tamilnadu.
Farmers in south Karnataka have resorted to protest by burning tyres and blocking highway affecting crucial commercial transportation. Over 700 state buses taken off the road on Tuesday morning. Schools and government offices in the district were also shut as group of lawyers in the state also joined the protest in support of the farmers.
Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has called a meeting of all political parties to discuss the way forward following the Supreme Court’s Monday order and also take stock of the protests arising in the state.
“We are yet to receive a copy of the Supreme Court order. Once we examine it we will consult all parties and take a decision,” Karnataka CM told media.
In Tamil Nadu, buses and trucks heading to Karnataka were stopped at Hosur which is on the State border.
On Monday, Supreme Court of India directed Karnataka state government to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu for the next 10 days to ensure survival of ‘samba crops’ in Tamil Nadu.
“Keeping in view the gesture shown by the Karnataka and the plight that has been projected with agony by Tamil Nadu, we think it appropriate to direct that 15 cusecs of water per day be released at Biligundulu by Karnataka for 10 days,” said the apex court in its order.
It has also directed the Tamil Nadu government to approach the supervisory committee within three days for the release of Cauvery water as per the final order of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal.
Karnataka government argued that it does not have sufficient water to meet the needs of its own state and has offered to provide only 10,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu saying that the insufficient rainfall during the monsoon affected storage.
Earlier, Tamil Nadu had gone to court after Karnataka released far less water this year than was decided in 2007 by a court-appointed tribunal asked to find a solution to the recurring dispute between the two states. Tamil Nadu wants much more water and says its farmers can’t sow crop if enough water is not released immediately.
The Cauvery River, which flows through southern Karnataka and then into Tamil Nadu, has been a point of conflict for decades and has always, attracted criticism from farmers from both the sides.
Despite creation of a tribunal to examine the conflict in 1990 and the tribunal’s verdict in 2007 on how water should be shared between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry and Kerala the issues has always attracted protests.