A day after the Supreme Court set February 20 as the deadline to notify Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal award, the Karnataka Government on Tuesday opposed its notification before the disposal of two civil petitions pending in the Supreme Court and a review petition before the Tribunal.
Earlier, Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaih and Janata Dal (S) floor leader H.D. Revanna raised the issue and sought explanation from the Government on the steps it had taken to prevent notification of the tribunal award before February 20.
Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar informed the Legislative Assembly that the Government would fight the legal battle to ensure justice to farmers of the State.
The government has decided to convene a meeting of floor leaders of the legislature on Wednesday to discuss the State’s strategy in the wake of the Supreme Court order to the Centre to notify the Tribunal award before February 20.
Earlier, the Central government had assured the Apex Court that the award would be notified by January 31 but it sought more time to notify it.
In fact, six years have been completed since the Tribunal announced its verdict on water sharing on February 5, 2007.
Mr. Shettar told the House that the government was ready for a detailed debate on the issue. There was no change in the Government’s stance. “We explained our position before the Cauvery River Authority meeting presided by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. I had written two letters to the Prime Minister explaining the Government’s stand on the issue,” the Chief Minister said.
Noting that Cauvery issue had to be discussed apolitically, he said the Government was ready to hear views of the Opposition.
Minister for Water Resources Basavaraj Bommai said “there is no change in the Government’s stand” with regard to the Tribunal award. The State has been urging the Centre to notify the award after the Supreme Court disposed off its two petitions and the review petition before the Tribunal. On the release of two tmc ft water to Tamil Nadu, he said the Supreme Court has not fixed any time frame to release the water.
The apex court on Monday directed Karnataka to release 2 tmc ft. of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu and asked the Central Water Commission to file report on the water requirement of the two warring States.
A bench headed by Justice R.M. Lodha asked the Commission to form a three-member expert body which will visit the states and directed it to file report within two days.
Mr. Bommai said the Supreme Court would hear the matter on February 6.