Karnataka to abide by SC order on water release

Bengaluru: Karnataka on Wednesday agreed to abide by the Supreme Court’s directive to release daily 2,000 cusecs of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu till its further order.

“We will abide by the Supreme Court order. I would not like to say more as the case is sub-judice,” said state Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T.B. Jayachandra here.

Earlier in the day, reserving its ruling on the state’s appeal against the 2007 award of the Cauvery Water Dispute Tribunal, a three-judge bench of the apex court said its Tuesday’s interim order to Karnataka for releasing 2,000 cusecs daily to Tamil Nadu would continue till further orders.

“The interim order dated October 4 directing Karnataka to release 2,000 cusecs of water per day to Tamil Nadu will continue till further orders,” said the bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and A.M. Khanwilkar.

The state cabinet, which met here, also briefly discussed the top’s court order.

State Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, however, maintained that the four reservoirs across the river basin had only water for drinking purpose in the region till the onset of next monsoon in June 2017.

“We do not have surplus water in our reservoirs due to deficit monsoon rains this year. We have also conveyed our distress to the expert committee with data on inflows and outflows in the dams,” Siddaramaiah told reporters here later.

In a related development, Farmers Protection Forum President G. Made Gowda opposed further release of water, as the expert committee had submitted to the apex court its report stating that Karnataka was facing water shortage.

“There is no need to release more water to Tamil Nadu for irrigation as we need it for drinking needs. Moreover, with the north-east monsoon due to set in next week, farmers in the neighbouring state will have rains for irrigation,” Gowda told reporters at Mandya, about 100km from Bengaluru.