Shettar slams PM over snub

Shettar slams PM over snub

Upset over not being given an audience, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar on Wednesday lashed out Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the Cauvery issue, saying that the September 19 order of the Cauvery River Authority (CRA) to release 9,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu had no basis.

Speaking to reporters, he said there was no justification in the prime minister’s order. “Karnataka repeatedly tried to bring it to his (prime minister) notice that the order is flawed and injustice has been meted out to the State. But he refused to heed our pleas,” he charged.

The prime minister initially appeared convinced with the State’s argument at the CRA meeting. But he gave an adverse order. The prime minister even refused to consider the review petition that the State immediately filed before the CRA. “After the Supreme Court’s recent directive (October 8), I personally wanted to meet the prime minister and request him to review the CRA order. But he refused to give me an appointment,” Shettar said.

On the Tamil Nadu government’s move to file a contempt petition on Karnataka’s decision to stop the release of 9,000 cusecs of water, he said his government would examine the grounds on which the neighbouring state filed the petition and take appropriate steps.

Karnataka Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai also took a dig at the prime minister. “Manmohan Singh is heading a federal republic. But he has denied an appointment to the head of a State… It is not in the right spirit of the federal set-up,” he said.

Bommai, however, said he would write a letter to the Union Water Resources department secretary, who is also secretary to the CRA, seeking a review of the CRA order.

“I hope the secretary will inform the prime minister about the State’s plea,” he said.
He noted that Supreme Court had clearly said that the Prime Minister could take an independent decision on the issue.

Hence, there is no need for him to convene the CRA meeting. Karnataka is hopeful that he will take a decision soon after obtaining a report from the Cauvery Monitoring Committee which is scheduled to meet on October 11, he said.

Earlier, Bommai held a meeting with Law Minister S Suresh Kumar and senior officials of the government on the stand that the State needed to take on Tamil Nadu’s move to file a contempt petition.

Cloud seeding in Catchment areas

Karnataka Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the government had finalised the tenders for conducting cloud seeding in the Cauvery catchment area. Cloud seeding operation will be taken up in a week’s time. It is aimed at increasing the inflow of water in the reservoirs.

Tender has been awarded to Agni Aviation. Permission from the Director General of Civil Aviation, Union Telecom and Home Ministries are awaited. Cloud seeding will be taken up soon after the permission is granted. The government is spending Rs 4.5 crore for the purpose and cloud seeding will be conducted for 30 days, he added.

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