The Karnataka government will holding an all-party meeting and emergent cabinet meeting on Wednesday to deliberate and decide on the Supreme Court order to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu for three days from Wednesday, an official said.
“The chief minister has convened tomorrow (Wednesday) an all-party meeting followed by a cabinet meeting to discuss and decide on the apex court order, which directed the state to release water despite the assembly passing a resolution against it,” the official told IANS here.
Earlier in the day, a division bench of Justices Dipak Misra and U.U. Lalit directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of water from September 28 to September 30, when it takes up the matter again for further hearing.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who was on a tour of rain-hit districts in the state’s northern region, rushed back to Bengaluru for discussing the apex court order with the ruling Congress leaders and cabinet colleagues to decide its next course of action at the all-party meeting.
“We can’t release water just because the Supreme Court said so, as we are not in a position to do. Let me first read the full order and come back to you,” Siddaramaiah told reporters at Bidar airport, about 690 km from here.
The state on Monday sought time till January to comply with the apex court’s September 20 order to release 6,000 cusecs daily for a week from September 21-27, as it needs the depleting quantity for drinking needs.
The state also substantiated its interim plea for a modification of the September 20 order with the resolution of the state legislature passed unanimously on September 23, which resolved to use the water in the four reservoirs across the river basin for supplying drinking water to the region.
In a related development, 11 Congress lawmakers of Karnataka from Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in the inter-state water dispute, urging him to convene a meeting of chief ministers of the two states for an amicable settlement.
“We have requested Modiji to intervene in the matter immediately and call the meeting of chief ministers and give directions to settle the Cauvery water dispute amicably,” said Lok Sabha member D.K. Suresh from Bangalore Rural constituency about their joint letter to Modi.
Meanwhile, security has been tightened in the state’s southern region where the river flows and prohibitory orders extended till Friday to maintain peace.
Hundreds of farmers, traders and youth held peaceful protests at Mandya and Mysuru against the apex court’s latest order on releasing water to the neighbouring state.