ON A day the Karnataka government moved a review petition in Supreme Court, seeking review of the court’s order that asks the state to release Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu, the Congress government in Bengaluru decided Saturday to convene another special session of the legislature Monday to decide the issue.
In the review petition, the Karnataka government reasoned that storage at its four reservoirs is insufficient to meet even drinking water requirements of Bengaluru city and towns.
It contended that the court passed the order even though Chief Minister S Siddaramaiah has pleaded the impossibility of complying with the court’s direction, as the situation is “beyond its control, and there is no intention to disobey the order”.
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The state also maintained that the court has erred in directing constitution of the Cauvery Management Board, as the issue been challenged under civil appeal. On an application by Tamil Nadu, a three-judge bench had on December 3, 2013 said that the issue can wait and would be heard along with the civil appeal.
The Supreme Court had asked states in the Cauvery basin to nominate members for the Cauvery Management Board to be created by the Centre by October 4.
The court had also warned that Karnataka would have to face the wrath of the law if it continued to defy the court’s orders.
“In the light of the resolution passed by the state legislature on September 23 against the release of water to Tamil Nadu until storage for drinking water improves in Cauvery reservoirs in Karnataka, and in the light of opposition leaders advising us to stick by the resolution not to release water, we have decided to convene a special session of the legislature on Monday,’’ Siddaramaiah said late Saturday after a cabinet meeting.
He said the special session is being convened because many leaders from the Cauvery basin had demanded release of
water for farmers in the Cauvery basin in Karnataka during an all-party meeting held Saturday evening.
“As far as the release of water from the Cauvery reservoirs is concerned, we are going back to the legislature,” Siddaramaiah said. “We had deferred the release of water in the Cabinet meeting on September 28. We will take the sanction of the legislature on this issue again. We have not wilfully defied the orders of Supreme Court. The decision to defer release of water was based on the resolution of the legislature.”