Cauvery: State to file review petition before SC

The Karnataka government on Friday said it would file a review petition before the Supreme Court seeking revision of its order directing the state to release 2.44 tmc ft of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu. However, the government remained silent on whether it will release water to the neighbouring state.

The State government arrived at the decision came after a meeting of floor leaders of both the Houses of the legislature convened by Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar to discuss the situation arising out of the apex court's directive. It was decided in the meeting that the state government would cite depleted water storage in reservoirs and shortage of drinking water for the people, as reasons in the petition.   

Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai told reporters that the review petition was likely to be moved on February 11. “In the Supreme Court order, it is stated that there was no threat to drinking water storage in Karnataka. But, the reality is otherwise,” he said.

However, Bommai denied to comment on whether water will be released to Tamil Nadu till Monday. “We as a state government should also keep a tab on the repercussions of what happens if we don’t comply by the apex court order,” he said.

Bommai also said a delegation of central ministers hailing from Karnataka, legislators from the Cauvery basin constituencies, floor leaders of both the houses will meet the prime minister to further explain the water woes being faced by the State. “We just have seven tmc of live storage in KRS dam. We are struggling for drinking water while Tamil Nadu is asking for water for its standing crops,” he said. Bommai said the state government would also write a letter to the central government on the possible fallout if the latter comes out with a notification on the apex court order.  

Opposition members asked the government to convince the court about the distress situation faced by the state including shortage of drinking water. Leader of the opposition in Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah, leader of the opposition in Legislative Council S R Patil, deputy chief minister R Ashoka, water resources minister S R Bommai, law minister Suresh Kumar, chief secretary S V Ranganath, JD(S) leaders H D Revanna and M C Nanaiah participated in the meeting.

Siddaramaiah said he along with other opposition members have pressured the state government not to release water to Tamil Nadu at any cost. “Right to life is the question before us as we are facing shortage of drinking water,” he said. Nanaiah said the state should not allow a situation where in people will start dying due to shortage of water.
The Supreme Court on Thursday had directed Karnataka to release 2.44 TMC feet of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu while rejecting the latter's plea seeking 12 TMC ft of water to save standing crops in delta districts.

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