Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has convened an all-party meeting in the state on Tuesday evening to decide the government’s course of action in the wake of the Supreme Court directing Karnataka to release 15,000 cusecs of water over the next 10 days from Cauvery to Tamil Nadu.
The Supreme Court’s orders came in the wake of a plea by Tamil Nadu government against Karnataka’s alleged violation of orders of the Cauvery River Water Disputes Tribunal for release of water for agriculture in the Cauvery basin in Tamil Nadu.
Karnataka has been arguing that it does not have sufficient water in its reservoirs in the Cauvery basin to service the agricultural requirements of both Karnataka and Tamil Nadu on account of insufficient rainfall during the monsoon.
The state has claimed it has only 51 TMC of water in its reservoirs in the Cauvery basin which can service only the drinking water needs of south Karnataka.
Siddaramaiah is holding consultations with legal experts and opposition parties on Tuesday even as a bandh has been organised by farmers and pro-Karnataka organisations in the Mandya region of the state where the agricultural and drinking water requirements are met by the Cauvery river.
“We are yet to receive a copy of the Supreme Court order. Once we examine it we will consult all parties and take a decision,” Siddaramaiah said on Monday.
The head of the Cauvery water agitation group in Karnataka the veteran G Madegowda has threatened serious consequences if the Congress government releases water at the cost of farmers in the Mandya region. Madegowda has demanded the removal of the head of Karnataka’s legal panel in the Supreme Court, Fali S Nariman, for failing to effectively present the case of the state.
With the emotive Cauvery issue resulting in violence and farmer suicides in the past, the state government has deployed additional police forces in the Mandya region – especially on the Bengaluru-Mysore highway and at the Krishna Raja Sagar reservoir near Mysore.
The Mandya district collector has banned tourist activity at the Brindavan Gardens next to the KRS reservoir for four days till September 9 on account of the Cauvery agitation.
The state transport corporation cancelled bus services going via Mandya on the Bengaluru-Mysore route on Tuesday.