Government to convince Supreme Court the difficulty in releasing water

Even as the Supreme Court directed Karnataka to release 2.44 tmcft of Cauvery water to Tamil Nadu immediately, the State government on Thursday told the Assembly that “it is not in a hurry to release water to Tamil Nadu.”

As Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) members urged the government not to release water, Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar told the House that the government would explore all legal options and convince the Supreme Court the difficulty in implementing its order, given the prevailing drought and drinking water scarcity in the State.

“It (directive to release water forthwith) is a matter of serious concern,” Mr. Shettar said. The government would consult with advocates appearing for the State in the apex court and decide the future course of action. Mr. Shettar and Water Resources Minister Basavaraj Bommai left for Delhi on Thursday evening for consultation with advocates.

Water levels sharply depleted in all reservoirs of the Karnataka Cauvery basin and there was no sufficient storage to meet drinking water needs of Bangalore, Mysore and other towns, Mr. Bommai said. The State government would take an all-party delegation to New Delhi to apprise the UPA government about the ground realities in the State.