Karnataka pins hope on supervisory panel to rework water release schedule

To file modification petition before the Supreme Court on Monday

Updated - November 17, 2021 05:00 am IST

Published - September 08, 2016 02:20 am IST - BENGALURU/MYSURU/Mandya:

Workers of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike at a rail-roko to protest the SC direction on Cauvery, at the Belagavi railway station on Wednesday. Photo: P.K. Badiger

Workers of the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike at a rail-roko to protest the SC direction on Cauvery, at the Belagavi railway station on Wednesday. Photo: P.K. Badiger

After Karnataka started releasing Cauvery waters to Tamil Nadu as per the Supreme Court’s directive from Tuesday night, the State’s legal team is now preparing to file a petition in the apex court on Monday, seeking modification of its order to release water at 15,000 cusecs a day for 10 days.

At the same time, the State is pinning bigger hopes on the Cauvery Supervisory Committee to rework the schedule of water release by convincing it of the “serious distress situation” in Karnataka. Sources in the Karnataka government said the legal team would file a petition in the Supreme Court seeking modification of its order owing to the difficulties in implementing it as the live storage in all the four reservoirs of the Cauvery basin — Krishnaraja Sagar, Harangi, Hemavati, and Kabini — stands at a poor 46.7 tmcft against their capacity of 104 tmcft.

The State would place its grievances before the supervisory committee, which would visit both the riparian States to assess the “ground realities”.

The supervisory committee has replaced the Cauvery River Authority to implement the order of the Cauvery tribunal.

‘Adjust water release’

Given the “serious distress” in the Cauvery basin area, the State can also adjust the current release of water against future releases if the authorities concerned, including the supervisory committee, give their approval, sources said.

“We will convince the committee about the distress situation owing to deficient monsoon. It has the powers to rework the schedule once in five years and we are confident of getting justice,” sources said. “In the event of the schedule being reworked, if there is any excess flow of water in the present, then it can be adjusted in the coming months,” sources said. In reply to a query on why the two riparian States, which are at loggerheads, could not negotiate on the crisis, the sources maintained that though such attempts had been made by Karnataka in the past, Tamil Nadu was not in its favour.

With protests in the politically-sensitive Cauvery basin stepping up the pressure on the government, sources said all efforts would be made to ensure drinking water to Bengaluru, Mysuru and other urban centres and villages fed by the river, besides protecting the interest of farmers on crops.

“The main petition on October 18 is very important. We have to succeed. The Supreme Court also asked Karnataka to live and let live. We cannot say no to it,” the sources said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah addressed the people of the State on All India Radio and explained the compelling circumstances under which the State had to agree to release water to Tamil Nadu as per the directive of the Supreme Court.

Deve Gowda to meet PM The former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, said in Hassan on Wednesday that he would meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a couple of days and discuss the Cauvery issue.

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