Bowing to the Supreme Court’s directive, Karnataka has begun releasing Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu, thus avoiding contempt of court. Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar thereafter flew to New Delhi on Friday morning to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and central Water Resources Minister Harish Rawat to seek relief for the State.

The apex court had on Wednesday directed Karnataka to release 10,000 cusecs of water daily to the neighbouring state till Sunday. Shettar on Thursday ordered release of water though the opposition Congress and Janata Dal-Secular had urged him not to do so even if it meant facing contempt of court charges.

Karnataka has been pleading with the apex court as well as the central and Tamil Nadu governments that it is not in a position to spare water in view of the severe drought in the State this year.