Cauvery: all-party meet today to discuss apex court order

Cauvery: all-party meet today to discuss apex court order

Bengaluru (DHNS): The Siddaramaiah government is considering various options to handle the Cauvery crisis, including adhering to its stand not to release any further water to Tamil Nadu.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has convened an all-party meeting on Saturday afternoon to discuss the outcome of the Supreme Court order directing Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu between October 1 and 6. The Court on Friday also directed the Centre to constitute the Cauvery Management Board (CMB) within three days.

Congress sources said while a final decision on the government’s stand will be taken only at the all-party meeting, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, at present, is inclined not to release any more water to Tamil Nadu. He is keen that the state abide by the resolution of the state legislature that existing water in the reservoirs should be preserved only for drinking purposes.

Another suggestion doing the rounds in government circles is that the state should release water to Tamil Nadu to escape being hauled up for contempt of court but only over and above the 27.6 tmcft mark which the state legislature had resolved to be preserved for drinking needs. The present storage in the four reservoirs of Tamil Nadu is 32.08 tmcft.

The sources said the government is contemplating submitting before the Chief Justice of India on Monday with a request to transfer the Cauvery case to a larger bench. The state’s contention would be that the two-judge bench, hearing the Cauvery case, had over-stepped its jurisdiction by directing the Centre to constitute the CMB at a time when the matter was pending before a three-judge bench.

A three-judge bench has posted for final hearing on October 18 an original suit filed by all the four Cauvery riparian states – Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Puducherry – challenging the award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal. Both the opposition BJP and the JD(S) have stated that the state government should seek transfer of the case to a higher bench.

BJP leader B S Yeddyurappa on Friday said the state should not release water to Tamil Nadu. JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda was not specific on the state’s next move but described the court order as a “tragedy”.

Siddaramaiah, who had stayed back in New Delhi, returned to Bengaluru on Friday evening. He held telephonic conversations with several senior leaders, including Mallikarjun Kharge, Veerappa Moily and Deve Gowda.

Siddaramaiah has invited floor leaders of the two houses of the legislature, all MPs and district in-charge ministers of the Cauvery basin to Saturday’s meeting.

CM curtails his Mysuru programmes

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has cut short his programmes in Mysuru on day-one of Dasara on Saturday. He is scheduled to preside over an all-party meeting on Cauvery at 2 pm in Bengaluru. Siddaramaiah was to spend the entire day in Mysuru on Saturday. However, he will inaugurate the maiden flight “Akasha Ambari” that provides air connectivity from HAL Airport to Mysuru Airport, then pay obeisance to Goddess Chamundeshwari and inaugurate the Dasara sports meet before flying back to Bengaluru.

Options before govt

Abide by legislature resolution and refrain from releasing water to Tamil Nadu  Seek transfer of Cauvery case to a larger bench of the Supreme Court To release water but ensure that 27.6 tmcft is maintained in the reservoirs for drinking need Get a stay from a higher bench on constitution of the Cauvery Board

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