K’taka assembly holds Spl session on Cauvery water sharing

RSTV Bureau

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The suspense over Karnataka government’s compliance with the Supreme Court order to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu may be over today. The special session of Karnataka assembly, called by Siddaramaiah government, will be taking a call whether the state can implement top court’s directive on sharing river waters.

The emotive issue has already led to tension in the state with Bengaluru bearing the brunt of violent protest last week following the Supreme Court’s first order on September 5 asking Karnataka to share river waters with Tamil Nadu.

In the latest order, pronounced after several modification pleas moved by Karnataka government to reduce the quantum of share, the Supreme Court on September 20 directed Karnataka to share 6,000 cusecs from September 21 to 27 as Tamil Nadu pressed for water to save its samba paddy crop.

But the Karnataka cabinet decided to defer the release of water and convene the legislature session.

Ahead of the session, Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah met Union Water Resources minister Uma Bharti in New Delhi on Thursday and apprised her of the ground realities on its inability in implementing the Apex Court order. The Chief Minister also requested the Union Government to file an objection against the Supreme Court’s direction to constitute Cauvery Water Management Board.

“There is no water in our reservoirs. What is remaining in four reservoirs is only 26 TMC water, whereas we need 27 TMC to supply drinking water to Mandya, Mysuru, Bengaluru and nearby areas,” Siddaramaiah told the press after meeting Uma Bharti.

Noting that the Apex Court had also asked the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Management Board, he said “it was uncalled for, neither us nor they (Tamil Nadu) had made a prayer for it”.

“I have requested that Solicitor General or Additional Solicitor General who represents government of India file an objection for it on September 27,” he said.

The Cauvery Supervisory Committee had on September 19 asked Karnataka to release 3,000 cusecs per day from September 21 to 30, but the Apex Court had on September 20 doubled the quantum to 6,000 cusecs from September 21 to 27.

It had also directed the Centre to constitute within four weeks the Cauvery Water Management Board as directed by Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in its award.

The Congress-led Karnataka government has secured the backing of Opposition JD (S) over the issue. Even though, BJP didn’t attend the all-party meeting called by the Chief Minister, it welcomed the move to call special assembly session.

(With inputs from the PTI)