Cauvery issue: State to present case before Supreme Court, invite panel members to dams
The Supreme Court hearing is tomorrow and there is a possibility the trial may be postponed. We will discuss with our legal team about filing an appeal in the Supreme Court, Shivakumar said.
BENGALURU: With Tamil Nadu’s plea for the release of 24,000 cusecs of water coming up for hearing before a three-judge bench in the Supreme Court on Friday, Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister
DK Shivakumar, who also holds the water resources portfolio, on Thursday said the state has complied with the directive to release water to the neighbouring state, and will explain the ground reality in the Cauvery basin to the Supreme Court.
“Safeguarding the interest of Karnataka farmers is our first commitment. The Supreme Court hearing is tomorrow and there is a possibility the trial may be postponed. We will discuss with our legal team about filing an appeal in the Supreme Court,” said Shivakumar.
Speaking to the media after holding a meeting with irrigation department officials and the legal team in New Delhi, Shivakumar said the state will invite members of the Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) and Cauvery Water Management Authority (CWMA) to visit the state’s reservoirs for first-hand information about the situation, within 15 days. The CWRC had directed Karnataka to release 5,000 cusecs of water per day for 15 days, from August 29 to September 12.
“It may appear as if there is water (in reservoirs) but let them come and see the situation, we cannot conceal it,” he suggested. “If there was adequate rainfall, there would be no objection to releasing water. We have respected such decisions in the past. We have invited CWMA officials to visit our dams and see the severity of the water problem and hope the authorities safeguard the interest of the state’s farmers.” “All calculations on water released to Tamil Nadu will be recorded at Biligundlu, and the water takes 4-5 days to reach there. Our counsels will present all this in their argument,” he informed.
Shivakumar said the state would also appeal before the SC, as it can raise its voice for its concerns, but has no power to question the utilisation of Tamil Nadu’s share of water and its crop pattern. Karnataka’s lawyers have been arguing the case competently, and are prepared for Friday’s hearing, but it could be deferred by 2-3 days, he added.
Advocate-General Shashi Kiran Shetty, counsel in the SC Mohan Katarki, Additional Chief Secretary Rakesh Singh and Shivakumar’s technical adviser Jayaprakash were present. The minister said he would consult senior SC lawyer Shyam Divan who is representing the state.