NEW DELHI/BENGALURU:The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Karnataka government to respond on how much of the 4 tmcft of water (for April and May) it can release by the month-end to Tamil Nadu.
Reacting to the SC direction, Karnataka Water Resources Minister M B Patil said, “We are not in a position to comply with the direction as only 9 tmcft water is left in the reservoirs in the Cauvery river basin. People of this region are facing a severe water crisis. It is even hard to take up the irrigational activities.”
Karnataka’s legal team will apprise the court about the current situation, Patil told reporters in Vijayapura. “The decision of the court is hard to follow and the state government is confused as the water releasing period to the neighbouring state concludes in December. Our legal team will bring it before the SC and we hope our plea will be considered,” Patil said
In the Supreme Court, objecting to extension of time sought by the Centre to frame the draft scheme, senior counsel Shekhar Naphade, appearing for Tamil Nadu, said, “I am saying this with full sense of responsibility that the Centre is playing politics and is more worried about its poll prospects in Karnataka than following the apex court order. Election in Karnataka is on May 12 and somehow they don’t want to do it till then. We have enough of this, it is brazen partisanship of the Union of India. It is the end of co-operative federalism.” “What do we tell people of Tamil Nadu as no scheme is framed even two months of SC judgment on Cauvery water sharing? There is no drinking water,” Naphade told the bench. This led the bench to direct the Karnataka government to respond on how much of the 4tmcft of water (for April and May) it can release by the month-end .
Senior advocate Shyam Divan for Karnataka said the state had already released water in excess to Tamil Nadu. On the contrary, Tamil Nadu said it had received only 1.1 tmcft of water for April.