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State defers water release, seeks solution from Centre

Published On : 29 Sep 2016   |  Reported By : Courtesy : DHNS   |  Pic On: Photo credit : DHNS

Bengaluru, DHNS: The Siddaramaiah government on Wednesday deferred releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu by a day, hoping that the Centre will come to its rescue on Thursday. According to the apex court order, the government should release 6,000 cusecs per day from September 28 to 30.

With this, the Congress has exerted pressure on the Centre to find a way out of the imbroglio. During the all-party meeting held on Wednesday, it was suggested that the government should not release water to Tamil Nadu.

“In view of the resolution passed in the legislature (to use the available water only for drinking) and the meeting called by the Centre on Thursday, the Cabinet decided to defer taking any decision as of now,” Chief Minister Siddaramaiah told reporters after the state Cabinet meeting.

Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti has convened a meeting of the executive heads of both the states on Thursday in Delhi to find a solution. The meeting, to be held as per the court direction, is scheduled to begin at 11.30 am. Karnataka will be represented by a five-member team led by Siddaramaiah, while the Tamil Nadu government will be represented by its public works minister as Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa is unwell.

Factual position
Siddaramaiah said he will explain the factual position to the Union minister and seek justice for Karnataka. Official sources said that Karnataka may urge Uma to defer the release of water from the Cauvery basin reservoirs till December when the total liability will be known.

It will also ask the Centre to take into consideration the northeast monsoon that Tamil Nadu is set to receive in the coming days. When asked about the order that the state should release water despite the resolution, Siddaramaiah said: “We know the consequences of going against court orders and also going against the legislature’s resolution. Today, the government has taken a tough stand... The (SC) order also says that it can be (release of water) adjusted in future in case of an eventuality.”

Sources in the chief minister’s office said the government will not show disrespect to the legislature even if it releases water to the neighbouring state as per the court order. For, the legislature had resolved to preserve 27.6 tmcft of water available as on September 23 for only drinking purpose. As on September 28, the total water availability had gone up to 31.29 tmcft. So, releasing water as per the SC order does not amount to showing disrespect to the legislature, the sources explained.

Earlier in the day, leaders of all political parties had advised the state government to stick to the resolution. BJP leader Jagadish Shettar and Y S V Datta of the JD(S) urged the government not to go against the resolution.

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