Awaiting the outcome of a meeting convened by the Centre, Karnataka decided on Wednesday to defer the release of 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu till Thursday as per the Supreme Court direction .
“We have deferred decision on release till tomorrow... We will see the outcome (of the meeting) and then decide on the next step,” said Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah.
On Tuesday, the SC had asked Karnataka to release Cauvery water in the next three days despite the unanimous assembly resolution to use the water only for drinking. The SC had also called for a political solution to the “impasse” by convening a meeting of CMs of both states and the Centre. Union water resources minister Uma Bharti has also called for a meeting.
Before the cabinet meet, Siddaramaiah convened an all-party meeting to discuss the SC direction. The meeting was attended by the two main Opposition parties — the BJP and the JD(S).
In the meeting, both the parties are said to have advised the government against releasing water to Tamil Nadu and to stick to the unanimous resolution passed by the Karnataka legislature in the special session held last week.
In an unprecedented move in the more than century-long Cauvery dispute with the neighbouring state, both the legislative assembly and the council adopted the resolution not to provide water for any other purpose except to meet drinking needs on September 23 citing “acute distress” and “alarmingly low levels” in dams in Karnataka.
“We have no intention to disobey the Supreme Court order,” Siddaramaiah said, pointing out that the assembly had clearly mandated that the water was required for drinking purpose.
Meanwhile, prohibitory orders have been extended till September 30 in Bengaluru considering the law and order situation following protests in the state over the Cauvery water dispute.
The city police has deployed 15,000 police personnel. However, no untoward incidents have been reported in the city.
(With inputs from agencies)