Bengaluru: The Karnataka Government yesterday decided to challenge Cauvery Water Management Authority’s (CWMA) decision upholding the order of Cauvery Water Regulation Committee (CWRC) to release 3,000 cusecs of water daily to Tamil Nadu until Oct. 15. The State announced its intention to file a review petition with both the CWMA and the Supreme Court on Saturday (today).
Chief Minister Siddharamaiah and Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar held discussions with retired Supreme Court and High Court judges, as well as former Advocate Generals of the State last evening, seeking their input on the matter.
“We will file a review petition before the CWMA and the Supreme Court. The State is unable to comply with the directive due to insufficient water levels in our reservoirs,” CM Siddharamaiah stated after the meeting.
The meeting included former Chief Justice of India M.N. Venkatachaliah, retired Supreme Court Judges Shivraj Patil, V. Gopala Gowda, R.V. Ravindran, former High Court judges P. Vishwanath Shetty and A.N. Venugopal Gowda and former Advocate Generals B.V. Acharya, Madhusudhan Naik, Vijayashankar, Uday Holla and K. Ravivarma Kumar.
Earlier on Friday, the CWMA had ordered Karnataka to release 3,000 cusecs of water to Tamil Nadu from Sept. 29 to Oct. 15. The Authority rejected Karnataka’s request for a break in water release, citing insufficient storage in the Cauvery reservoir to meet drinking water and agricultural demands. Additionally, experts recommended presenting the construction of the Mekedatu Balancing Reservoir cum Drinking Water Project as a solution before the Supreme Court.
On Sept. 21, a special bench of the Supreme Court, established to hear the Cauvery water dispute between Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, agreed to hear Karnataka’s petition seeking approval for the Mekedatu project. This reservoir aims to serve as a balancing reservoir with a storage capacity of 67 tmcft of water.
“The former Judges and Advocate Generals have advised the Government to seize the opportunity to present their case for the project before the Supreme Court, demonstrating how it can permanently resolve the water-sharing dispute between the two States,” CM Siddharamaiah said.
In response to a question, Siddharamaiah mentioned that a special session would be convened if the need arose. He also clarified that the contempt of Court would only occur if the order was intentionally disobeyed. The Government is planning to establish a permanent Advisory Committee comprising experts from relevant fields to address inter-State water disputes and provide relevant advice to the Government.