Bengaluru: Faced with an ultimatum, Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has convened an all-party meeting on Saturday to decide on the Supreme Court’s Friday order to release 6,000 cusecs of Cauvery river water to Tamil Nadu daily for six days from October 1, an official said.
“Siddaramaiah has convened an all-party meeting on Saturday afternoon here to discuss the apex court’s fresh order and decide the next course of action,” said an official of the chief minister’s office told.
The ruling Congress has invited floor leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Janata Dal-Secular, all MPs from the state, including Union Ministers and district in-charge ministers to the meeting at the state secretariat.
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“Water Resources Minister MB Patil, the legal team and water experts will explain the court directive to the leaders and provide the latest data on the live storage levels in the four reservoirs across the river basin to decide on it,” said the official.
A division bench of the apex court again ordered the state to release the quantum of water a day after a meeting between the two states convened by Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti failed to resolve the inter-state dispute over the sharing of the river during distress period.
The chief minister also discussed the court’s “stern” order with Patil, Home Minister G Parameshwara, Law Minister TB Jayachandra and senior leaders of the party’s state unit.
“The informal discussions were on the legal and other options the state government has to exercise in wriggling out of the grim situation arising out of depleted levels in the reservoirs with water enough for drinking purpose only,” said a party source.
In the three similar meetings held over the last fortnight, the parties advised the state government to save the water for drinking purpose only and not to release it for irrigation in neighbouring Tamil Nadu as decided by the state legislature at a special session on September 23 through a unanimous resolution.
Meanwhile, in view of the 11-day Dasara festival beginning on Saturday at Mysuru, security has been intensified and vigil stepped up to maintain peace.
“The ban order on assembling of people in public places and sensitive areas has been extended till Sunday to prevent any untoward incident in the region,” said a state police official.
Protests were held at Mandya and Mysuru against the apex court’s order to release water from the reservoirs at Kabini, KRS, Harangi and Hemavathi in the region.