New Delhi : After twice deferring Supreme Court directives to share the river’s water with its neighbour, Karnataka has decided to relent and release Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu.
A resolution to this effect was passed at a special legislative session and this water will help people’s irrigation and drinking water requirements. However, the quantum of water to be released was not mentioned in the resolution.
“The joint session of the state legislature unanimously passed a resolution to release Cauvery water for irrigation purpose, modifying its September 23 resolution to preserve the water for only drinking purpose,” said state Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra. The decision to release the water for irrigation was in view of the increased inflows into the four reservoirs of the river basin during the last 10 days, rising their collective storage level to 34.13 tmc (thousand million cubic) feet on October 2 from 27.6 tmc ft on September 22.
Tabling the new resolution in the state assembly, Jayachandra said water can be released for irrigation to protect the interest of the farmers.
On Sep 30th the Supreme Court had asked Karnataka to discharge 6,000 cusecs from October 1 to 6.
The court’s directive came with a warning that no one would know when the “wrath of the law” would fall on it.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the state has no intention to disrespect the Supreme Court’s orders now that rainfall in the past 10 days has eased the water shortage.
Tamil Nadu had pressed for Cauvery water to save its paddy crop, but Karnataka refused, citing monsoon failure and depleted reservoirs. When the top court ordered Karnataka to release water last month, it triggered riots in Bengaluru, with Kannadigas attacking Tamils and their property.