SC order on water release: Siddaramaiah reserves comments

SC order on water release: Siddaramaiah reserves comments

SC order on water release: Siddaramaiah reserves comments
Reserving his reaction to the Supreme Court's fresh direction to the state to release 6,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu for three days, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah today said he would consult legal experts and maintained that drinking water is a priority.

"I'm yet to speak to legal experts, I don't know about the order. I will speak to our advocates and react later," he told reporters in Bidar in north Karnataka. To a question on Tamil Nadu's arguments against utilising Cauvery river water for Bengaluru, he said, "Drinking water is a priority. It is a priority according to to our water policy also. If they (Tamil Nadu) say don't give water, it will not become a law or an order."

The Chief Minister has convened a meeting of floor leaders of both the Houses, MPs and legislators and district in charge ministers from the Cauvery basin tomorrow morning to take stock of the fresh development, official sources said. According to official sources, the cabinet meeting which is scheduled for tomorrow, will discuss the Supreme Court directions and the future course of action.

The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and U U Lalit today directed Karnataka to release 6,000 cusecs water to Tamil Nadu for three days, despite the resolution passed by the state legislature last week to use the water only for drinking purpose.

The state legislature had signalled its inability to implement the court's earlier direction to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu from September 21 till today. A special session of the legislature had on Friday adopted a unanimous resolution to use the water only to meet drinking water needs and not to provide it for any other purpose.

Following the apex court's fresh directions, sporadic protests erupted in Mandya, Mysuru and nearby areas. Mandya Zilla Raitha Hitharakshana Samiti (MZRHS), at the forefront of Cauvery agitation, said there was no change in its stand that water should not be released to Tamil Nadu.

Samiti president Made Gowda said, "Water should not be  released at any cost ... they (Tamil Nadu) have enough water  for their crops, they are doing vendetta politics." Police, as a precautionary measure, have made elaborate security arrangements in Cauvery basin areas, especially Mandya and Bengaluru.

Bengaluru city has been placed under prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC. Calling the Supreme Court's direction to Karnataka to  release 18,000 cusecs of water for three days as "grossly  unfair" and "unfortunate", state BJP president B S Yeddyurappa said the party will stand by any decision taken by the Siddaramaiah government in the interest of the farmers and the people.

Alleging that the Congress leaders continue to indulge in  "cheap politicking" on the issue by dragging the Centre in it, he said they have "misinterpreted" and "twisted" one of the comments of the judges.

"The apex court asked the Attorney General whether it is possible for the intervention of the Union government in this issue. The AG sought time to reply to this question. At no point in time, the apex court mentioned about the intervention of the Prime Minister," he added.