At a meeting between the representatives of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti on Thursday asked the states to sit together and resolve the Cauvery dispute outside court. Bharti suggested that both states must approach the Supreme Court with a solution instead of defying court directives.
“I really appreciate that both the states are trying to find some solution, we have noted their views which will be sent to SC,” said Bharti.
The Karnataka government requested the Water Resources Ministry to constitute an expert committee to submit a report on the availability of water in the Cauvery reservoir, Bharti said. The water resources minister went to the extent of saying that she is willing to sit on an indefinite hunger strike if tension rises across the Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border.
Earlier this week, the central government invited Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to attend a meeting chaired by Bharti, based on a directive issued by the Supreme Court. The Siddaramaiah-led government in Karnataka has delayed the release of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu for the second time this week. The Supreme Court had ordered the state to release 6000 cusecs of water for three days, starting Wednesday. According to news agency ANI, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, “We don’t want to disrespect the judicial order, but since we have no water, this is a resolution taken by us in legislature. Going by suggestions at the all party meeting and our resolution, we are deferring release till tomorrow.”
Since Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa is undergoing treatment in a hospital in Chennai, she has nominated PWD Minister Edappadi S Palanisamy and a team of officials to represent the state in the meeting. DMK has raised objections saying that instead of Umar Bharti, the meeting should be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
DMK President M Karunanidhi alleged that Bharti had recently aired views “fully supporting” Karnataka in the current Cauvery water crisis. “Instead of the participation of the Union Minister, the meet should be chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself so that an amicable solution arises from it,” PTI quotes him as saying.