Karnataka calls another all-party meet over SC’s latest order on Cauvery water

Karnataka calls another all-party meet over SC’s latest order on Cauvery water

Bengaluru, Sep 27 (IANS) The Karnataka government will holding an all-party meeting and emergent cabinet meeting on Wednesday to deliberate and decide on the Supreme Court order to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu for three days from Wednesday, an official said.

“The chief minister has convened tomorrow (Wednesday) an all-party meeting followed by a cabinet meeting to discuss and decide on the apex court order, which directed the state to release water despite the assembly passing a resolution against it,” the official told IANS here.

Earlier in the day, a division bench of Justices Dipak Misra and U.U. Lalit directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of water from September 28 to September 30, when it takes up the matter again for further hearing.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who was on a tour of rain-hit districts in the state’s northern region, rushed back to Bengaluru for discussing the apex court order with the ruling Congress leaders and cabinet colleagues to decide its next course of action at the all-party meeting.

“We can’t release water just because the Supreme Court said so, as we are not in a position to do. Let me first read the full order and come back to you,” Siddaramaiah told reporters at Bidar airport, about 690 km from here.

The state on Monday sought time till January to comply with the apex court’s September 20 order to release 6,000 cusecs daily for a week from September 21-27, as it needs the depleting quantity for drinking needs.

The state also substantiated its interim plea for a modification of the September 20 order with the resolution of the state legislature passed unanimously on September 23, which resolved to use the water in the four reservoirs across the river basin for supplying drinking water to the region.

In a related development, 11 Congress lawmakers of Karnataka from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in the inter-state water dispute, urging him to convene a meeting of chief ministers of the two states for an amicable settlement.

“We have requested Modiji to intervene in the matter immediately and call the meeting of chief ministers and give directions to settle the Cauvery water dispute amicably,” said Lok Sabha member D.K. Suresh from Bangalore Rural constituency about their joint letter to Modi.

Meanwhile, security has been tightened in the state’s southern region where the river flows and prohibitory orders extended till Friday to maintain peace.

Hundreds of farmers, traders and youth held peaceful protests at Mandya and Mysuru against the apex court’s latest order on releasing water to the neighbouring state.

Call TN, Karnataka CMs’ meeting to end impasse: SC to Centre 

New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the central government to convene a meeting of the Chief Ministers of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to find a solution to the impasse over Cauvery river water.

Asking the Centre to facilitate such a meeting, the bench of Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Uday Umesh Lalit also directed the Karnataka government to release 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu every day for the next three days.

The apex court’s instruction to the central government came after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi suggested that the Centre could sit with the two Chief Ministers — K. Siddaramaiah and J. Jayalalithaa.

September 30 has been fixed as the next date for hearing in the matter.

The bench told the two states fighting over the river water to respect the principle of “federal co-operation”, and advised Tamil Nadu to exercise “patience” and shun being “emotional” over the issue.

“We direct the State of Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of water. We are sure that Karnataka would not create any impediment or obstruction in the release of water,” the apex court said.

The bench also clarified in the order that the water to be given to Tamil Nadu (6,000 cusecs per day for next three days) would be adjusted against the total release of water to the state.

Attacking Karnataka for not complying with the court’s September 20 order to release 6,000 cusecs of water every day for next seven days, Tamil Nadu said Karnataka’s plea seeking modification of order should not be heard.

“They (Karnataka) should not be heard till they obey the orders of the court. This is a gross defiance of the court’s order … end of the rule of law,” senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, told the court.

He further said: “Tamil Nadu is tired of this litigation. Two-thirds of Bangalore is outside the Cauvery basin, yet (Cauvery) water flows to it.”

Naphade described the stand of Karnataka as “obstructionist” and “obstinate”, Naphade told the bench that “Tamil Nadu has come to conclusion that, come what may, Karnataka will not give it (Tamil Nadu) its legitimate share (of Cauvery water).”

Over-ruling Naphade’s assertion that Karnataka should not be heard, the bench said: “Attempt should be made by the executive of both States to manage and resolve the issue.”

At one stage in the course of the hearing, the bench asked senior counsel Fali S Nariman as to under what provision of the Constitution the Karnataka assembly had passed the resolution denying release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.

The Karnataka government, in an application on September 26, told the Supreme Court that it can release additional water to Tamil Nadu only by December, and that “Karnataka’s all major cities, including Bengaluru, are falling short of drinking water”.

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