THE CENTRE’S efforts to broker a solution to the dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu over sharing of Cauvery water failed to make any breakthrough as the two states stuck to their stated positions at a tripartite meeting here Thursday.
The matter will go back to the Supreme Court on Friday.
At Thursday’s meeting, convened by the Union Water Resources Ministry at the instance of the apex court, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah expressed his government’s inability to release any water from the Cauvery, and said the state would inform the Supreme Court about this. Siddaramaiah proposed that, as suggested by the supervisory committee on Cauvery, an expert team should be sent to visit both states and assess the situation, a government statement said.
Tamil Nadu, represented by its PWD Minister E K Palanisamy, however, had reservations on this idea and argued that even the Supreme Court, which has heard the case after the supervisory committee’s meeting, had not insisted on sending an expert team. Tamil Nadu requested the Centre to quickly constitute the Cauvery Management Board, with representatives from all four states in the river basin, as suggested by the top court.
Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati said the Board would be constituted within the deadline set by the Supreme Court, but requested both states to ensure peace in their respective areas. “I am even ready to sit on a hunger strike, if required, to maintain peace in both states,” Bharati later said.
At the previous hearing, the Supreme Court had asked Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water for three days. The state had expressed its helplessness in releasing the amount of water, arguing that the river does not have enough water.