The Supreme Court directed the Karnataka government on Tuesday to comply with its order of releasing 6,000 cusecs of the Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu for the next three days.
The top court also asked attorney general Mukul Rohatgi to facilitate a meeting between the governments of the two states to find a solution to the long-standing dispute over water sharing by Friday.
The court has, however, agreed to a further hearing of the matter on Wednesday.
Karnataka on Monday sought time till January from the top court to release more Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu as it said it needed the depleting source for drinking purposes.
On September 20, the apex court had directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu every day till September 27. “It is respectfully submitted that in a year of insufficient rainfall and distress, the state is nonetheless obliged to reserve for supply to inhabitants water at national standards norms…” the Karnataka application to the SC had said.
Tamil Nadu, too, has filed an application before the SC, asking it to refrain from hearing Karnataka’s petition until it has complied with the September 20 direction.
Tuesday’s hearing came four days after the Karnataka legislature passed a resolution that the river will be used only for meeting the drinking water needs of villages and towns in the Cauvery Basin and Bengaluru.
The resolution, however, did not mention the top court’s order directing the state to release 6,000 cusecs a day (cubic feet per second) of water to Tamil Nadu till September 27.
Karnataka has maintained that its citizens will go thirsty and crops in the state will be ravaged if it releases any more water to Tamil Nadu.