THE KARNATAKA government on Wednesday failed to arrive at a decision on releasing 6,000 cusecs of water from the Cauvery river to Tamil Nadu for three days as directed by the Supreme Court on September 27.
The government, instead, seemed inclined to take a decision after a meeting of the executive heads of the Karnataka and Tamil Nadu governments, convened in New Delhi on Thursday by the Centre on the directions of the Supreme Court.
The Congress government headed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah held separate meetings with Opposition leaders and members of the state cabinet on Wednesday, as part of an exercise to generate consensus on the course of action with respect to the Supreme Court order of September 27 to release water to Tamil Nadu till September 30.
The government concluded that water could not be released immediately in the light of a resolution passed by the Assembly on September 23.
The resolution stating that no water could be released to Tamil Nadu until there is an improvement in the storage of drinking water in the Cauvery basin in Karnataka.
Wednesday’s meetings saw mixed responses, with some leaders suggesting that it would be good for Karnataka to release water ahead of the meeting convened by the Centre and others suggesting that it would be better to “wait and watch’’.
“I will be going to Delhi tomorrow to participate in the meeting convened by Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati. I will present the ground realities of the water position in Karnataka. Depending on what transpires at the meeting, we will take a decision on the Cauvery issue,’’ said Chief Minister Siddaramaiah after the cabinet meeting.
“We have utmost respect for the Supreme Court, but this decision has been compelled by the fact that there is no water to release to Tamil Nadu. The water that is there is needed to meet the drinking water requirements in Karnataka,’’ said Siddaramaiah.
“We have taken a decision not to release water for any purpose except drinking water… As per this resolution, and the advice received at the all-party meeting, we have postponed the release of water,” he said.