Karnataka asked the Supreme Court on Monday to modify an earlier order on sharing Cauvery water with Tamil Nadu and said it couldn’t release any more water, agencies reported, setting the stage for a face-off with the judiciary.
In its plea, Karnataka has said its reservoirs are dry and it can only release water to Tamil Nadu by the end of the year, news channel NDTV reported. ANI said that the Supreme Court will hear the matter on Tuesday.
The petition came three days after Karnataka’s legislature passed a resolution saying the river will be used only for meeting drinking water needs of villages and towns in the Cauvery basin and Bengaluru.
The resolutions, however, did not mention the top court’s order directing the state to release 6,000 cusecs every day (cubic feet per second) of water to Tamil Nadu till September 27. Karnataka has said its citizens would go thirsty and crops ravaged if it released any more water to Tamil Nadu.
Over the past month, both states have been engulfed in the decades-long dispute that triggered large-scale violence in state capital Bengaluru where mobs targetted Tamil-speaking speaking people, damaging property worth crores.
Sporadic violence has continued since then across the state, large parts of which are facing acute water shortage.
For chief minister Siddaramaiah, who gave an impassioned speech in the assembly, a face-off with the judiciary could prove costly given past instances of the state’s attempts to take on the top court on the more than century-old dispute.
Legal experts quoted in various newspapers and television channels here have varying versions of what can happen -- from tying the apex court’s hands in the matter to outright dismissal of the government and assembly.