The government of Karnataka has moved Supreme Court for an urgent hearing on a plea demanding direction to restrict the quantum of water to be released from River Cauvery to Tamil Nadu, from 15,000 cusecs to 1,000 cusecs. Hearing a long-drawn emotive issue between the two states, the apex court had on September 5 ordered release of 15,000 cusecs of water for 10 days as an immediate relief to Tamil Nadu farmers.
Post the implementation of order, Karnataka has witnessed violent protest at several places, including the capital city Bengaluru.
The Siddaramaiah government on Saturday filed an application seeking the modification of apex court’s September 5 order. Karnataka’s decision to move the Supreme Court comes even as the Cauvery Supervisory Committee is meeting on Monday to decide on the quantum of the river’s water to be released to Tamil Nadu and other states.
The application has sought that instead of 10 days, the apex court should restrict the flow of water only for 6 days as the state itself was facing distress situation in view of massive agitation and loss of Rs 500 crore per day.
In the application, Karnataka has stated that there has been huge public pressure and the state police, with great difficulty, have been able to prevent attempts to damage public property.
“Even the minimum arrangement mentioned by your lordships has caused distress and havoc in the entire southern part of Karnataka, paralysing civil life. The agitation of farmers has been that their dry crop is equaled with that of the farmers in Tamil Nadu. Tamil Nadu’s need for the rice crop consumes more than twice the water which is needed for light crops in Karnataka” the application said.
The application has stated that people, particularly farmers in the districts of Mysuru, Hassan, Mandya and Bengaluru, have been squatting on the roads and streets, affecting the IT industry in Bengaluru which earns revenue as income tax, service tax, and foreign exchange of USD 60 billion to the country.
The application has also referred to inputs from security agencies that said if the flow of water is allowed to continue further, the situation may go out of hand.
The application is likely to be placed before Chief Justice TS Thakur, who is likely to take a call on it and if it all an urgent hearing is required.
In an interim order on September 5, the court directed Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of Cauvery water per day to Tamil Nadu for the next 10 days to ameliorate plight of the farmers there.
The apex court also directed Tamil Nadu to approach the Supervisory Committee, set up to implement award of Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal (CWDT), within three days for the release of Cauvery water as per the final order of the Tribunal.
(With inputs from the PTI)