- Top Court asked Karnataka to release 6000 cusecs of water for a week
- It has also asked the centre to set up the Cauvery Management Board
- Karnataka has already released 1,68,000 cusecs of water amid protests
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The Cauvery Supervisory Committee, the panel that is mediating between the two states, had ordered Karnataka on Monday to release 3,000 cusecs water per day between September 21 and September 30. The court today doubled that.
In view of the widespread protests in the state over Cauvery waters, Karnataka pleaded in court that if it was ordered to release more water there could be "consequences".
"We can't give any water to Tamil Nadu. If the court directs then there will be consequences and that's the ground reality. It is a wrong order. The state will have to sacrifice drinking water to irrigation," said eminent jurist and constitutional expert Fali Nariman, who had appeared on behalf of Karnataka.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said a cabinet meeting will be held tomorrow to discuss the issue. "Also at 5 pm, there is an all-party meeting on the pros and cons of the order... We will discuss this, take legal and technical opinions and decide the next step," he added.
Karnataka BJP chief Yeddurappa said the court was "rubbing the salt and pepper to the wound". The court, he said, has not considered the fact that Tamil Nadu will get ample rains in October, November and December, whereas the rainy season in Karnataka is over.
The court has also asked the Centre to set up the Cauvery Management Board, a body to regulate and monitor the release of water, within a month.
Karnataka farmers consider the court order a major set-back but the protests were peaceful in Mandya, the epicenter of protests. Its lawmaker Puttaraju, a member of Janata Dal (S) has resigned. Security forces have been stationed at sensitive points including Bengaluru city and Mandya to prevent a repeat of last Monday's violence.
Karnataka has already released 1,68,000 cusecs of water amid huge protests across the state involving arson and vandalism.
The Supervisory Committee's order came on Monday after Karnataka and Tamil Nadu had failed to reach an agreement on how much water has to be released.
In Tamil Nadu, there was muted cheer as Cauvery water for irrigation was released from the state's Mettur reservoir. But the farmers still need at least 40 TMC water for their paddy crop across 12 lakh acres.