BENGALURU: The Supreme Court, which on Friday took up a plea by Tamil Nadu seeking release of Cauvery river water from Karnataka, has put off the hearing to September 6.
Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Tamil Nadu, sought hearing on Monday while Karnataka’s counsel Shyam Divan suggested September 11 since the CWRC has directed release of 5,000 cusecs of water for 15 days. The Supreme Court, which is conducting hearings on the repeal of Article 370, promised detailed hearing on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar, who was in Delhi for the hearing, addressed a press conference and said, “We have asked the court to conduct an inspection of the ground situation in the two states before coming to a decision. Tamil Nadu has used up more than its share of allocated water this year”.
Shivakumar, who is also Water Resources Minister, said, “The Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) had initially ordered release of 24,000 cusecs of water daily and when we highlighted that it would not be possible, they directed us to release 5,000 cusecs every day. We had argued that we can release only 3,000 cusecs daily. We have apprised the Supreme Court of the prevailing situation and already released the stipulated quantum of water. We have to protect the interests of our farmers”.
The Deputy CM pointed out that Tamil Nadu is not regulating the crops cultivated by its farmers. “They have already used up 93 tmcft of excess water. They have used up more than what they are supposed to during times of distress. We have highlighted this before the Supreme Court. It is not enough if Bengaluru gets rain, there has been no rain in the Cauvery basin area. We will present our arguments before the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) and the CWMA and appeal before them that the Mekedatu project is the only solution”, he said.
Shivakumar said the government is committed to ensuring drinking water supply to Bengaluru, Mysuru, Ramanagara and other parts which rely on Cauvery water and also to protecting the interests of farmers. “It is not possible to stop the flow of water as the opposition has suggested. They can go ahead with their protest, but safeguarding the interests of the state is important”, he said.
Reacting to the Karnataka High Court disqualifying Prajwal Revanna as MP, Shivakumar said this should be a lesson for all elected representatives.