Govt not to release water for now

With pressure mounting from various quarters not to release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu, the Karnataka government on Wednesday deferred taking any decision on the Supreme Court order to release 10,000 cusecs water every day till the next date of hearing – Monday.

 “We have decided to consult legal experts on options available for the government in view of the court order. Based on the experts’ opinion, the government will take a stand on the issue,” Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar told reporters after holding a meeting with floor leaders of the Assembly.

It was also decided at the meeting not to release water to Tamil Nadu till the government takes a stand on the issue. The chief minister is learnt to have assured the meeting that he will make a statement in this regard on the floor of the House on Thursday.

However, top officials of the government are learnt to have advised the chief minister to comply with the court order to prevent further damage.

 Tamil Nadu has been demanding 52.5 tmc ft of water. There is a possibility of the State getting an adverse order from the court in future if the government refuses to release water now, officials are learnt to have told Shettar.

Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah told reporters after the meeting that he advised the government not to release water and, instead, file a review petition before the apex court on its verdict.

“The government should make its stand clear. We have asked the chief minister not to release water till Thursday,” he said. Earlier, Opposition parties expressed shock in the Assembly at the Supreme Court order and demanded that the government should refuse to release water to Tamil Nadu.

Members, cutting across party affiliations, insisted that the House should pass a resolution that water cannot be released.

“The entire State will turn into a battlefield if water is released. Whatever be the consequence, the government must inform the apex court about its inability to release water,” Siddaramaiah said.

JD(S) leader H D Revanna termed the court order a death sentence to the farmers of the Cauvery basin region. “The available water is insufficient for our irrigation and drinking water needs. If the court order is complied with, the farmers will be badly hit,” he said.

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