TN to move SC against Karnataka for contempt
Faced with the intransigence of Karnataka in complying with Supreme Court orders on releasing Cauvery water, Tamil Nadu will file a contempt plea in the apex court besides pressing for the constitution of a regulatory mechanism to implement the final award of the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal. The decision to sue Karnataka for contempt was arrived at a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday.
Debunking Karnataka’s stand that the Supervisory Committee on Cauvery was not constituted properly and hence could not make decisions, Jayalalithaa said “it amounted to contempt of court.
The Cauvery issue has gained momentum since the Stanley Reservoir at Mettur, with depleted storage, could not be opened as usual on June 12 for cultivation in the delta region. The CM said the dam could not be opened since the storage stood at a meagre 3.45 tmcft with a low inflow of just 60 cusecs.
Significantly, the move comes barely 48 hours after the supervisory panel, under the Union Water Resources Ministry, turned down Tamil Nadu’s plea for release of water from Karnataka to take up Kuruvai (short-term paddy) cultivation.
In a statement here, Jayalaltihaa said the government would file an additional petition seeking the expeditious setting up of the Cauvery Management Board and Cauvery Water Regulatory Committee (CWRC) as per the Tribunal’s final award, which has been already gazetted.
The Supervisory Committee was formed only after Karnataka had consented to it, she explained and charged the neighbouring state with singing a different tune, which “clearly demonstrates that it was not interested in sharing water with Tamil Nadu”. However, she assured the farming community awaiting Cauvery water that her government would not lag in taking necessary efforts to help them.
She expressed confidence that in the coming days, there would be sufficient rains in the Cauvery catchment areas in Karnataka and that firm steps would be taken to realise the due share of Cauvery water.