TN opposes Karnataka’s proposal for expert panel to study water availability, Jaya alleges contempt of court
NEW DELHI: All eyes will be on the Supreme Court on Friday as the Centre failed to broker peace between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in the Cauvery river water sharing dispute.
The court had asked the Union water resources ministry on Tuesday to facilitate a meeting between representatives of the two states after Karnataka refused to release 6,000 cusecs of water to TN following the apex court’s direction.
However, after chairing a threehour meeting on Thursday, water resources minister Uma Bharti said she was “disappointed” as a “solution outside court could not be achieved”. “Tamil Nadu did not agree to Karnataka’s proposal that a central team of experts visits the Cauvery river basin to assess ground realities, including the quantum of water stored in reservoirs, drinking water available and crop situation, before a decision is taken to release water,” Bharti said.
The minister, referring to the tense situation in the two states, urged people to exercise restraint.
Bharti added that she was ready to go on an indefinite hunger strike along the border between the two states if the problem persisted.
Besides Bharti, Karnataka CM K Siddaramaiah, Tamil Nadu PWD minister Edappadi K Palaniswamy and other senior officials attended the meeting. Shashi Shekar, water resources secretary, said the Centre will put the views of the two states before the apex court, which is hearing the matter on Friday. “There could have been some give and take,” Shekhar, who is also the chairman of the Cauvery Supervisory Committee, added.
Earlier, TN CM Jayalalithaa in a message said, “In utter disregard and in complete contempt of the orders of the Honourable Supreme Court, Karnataka failed to release the stipulated quantity of water to Tamil Nadu and in addition, failed to make good the shortfall.”
Union minister for water resources Uma Bharti with Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah (extreme left) in New Delhi on Thursday.