Karnataka decides against releasing Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu

An all-party resolution passed in the Karnataka assembly on Friday may put the state government in collision course with the Supreme Court on the Cauvery issue


The resolution implied that Karnataka would not be able to comply with the latest Supreme Court direction to release water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu. Photo: PTI
The resolution implied that Karnataka would not be able to comply with the latest Supreme Court direction to release water to neighbouring Tamil Nadu. Photo: PTI

Bengaluru: The Karnataka legislative assembly passed a unanimous resolution to ensure that water in the four dams of the Cauvery river basin is used only for drinking water requirements.

The resolution seems intended to ensure that no water is released to the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu for irrigation.

The resolution was moved by Jagadish Shettar of the Bharatiya Janata Party and leader of the opposition in the legislative assembly, and Y.S.V. Datta of the Janata Dal (Secular) at a special session to discuss the Cauvery dispute that comes amid drought in parts of Karnataka.

“It is now resolved that in this state of acute distress it is imperative that the government ensures that no water from the present storages be drawn except for meeting drinking water requirements of the villages and towns in the Cauvery basin and the entire city of Bengaluru,” the resolution said.

The resolution comes in the wake of the 20 September order by the Supreme Court directing Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of water a day to Tamil Nadu from 21 to 27 September. The court also directed the centre to create a Cauvery Management Board (CMB) in four weeks—a direction seen as a move to “nationalise” a state asset, according to Bengaluru-based political analysts.

On Wednesday, Karnataka chief minister Siddaramaiah said the cabinet has decided to defer the release of water to Tamil Nadu. (bit.ly/2dlMd5S)

“The decision of the Karnataka assembly expressing its inability to comply with the order of the Supreme Court directing Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs of water should not be construed as a confrontation with the apex court, for which we have highest regard,” state water resources minister M.B. Patil said.

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